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How To Win The Digital Super Bowl – A Deep Dive Into Doritos’ “Ultrasound” Video

With less than a month to go – and CES and the holidays behind us – all eyes are on the Super Bowl. What will this year’s crop of top advertisers bring us in 2017?

If this year’s Science of Sharing white paper taught us one thing, it’s that going for a funny ad doesn’t automatically bring Super Bowl success. In fact, only 10% of viewers thought the ads last year were funny.

However, the most shared ad of the year – Doritos’ “Ultrasound” – managed to be both funny and engaging. Using Unruly EQ, our content evaluation tool, we tested Ultrasound to see why this particular funny ad stood out from the crowd.

With more than 1,132,439 shares, the snack brand’s video became the most shared Super Bowl ad in 2016 and the 10th most shared Super Bowl ad of all time. Instead of just trying to be funny, Doritos combined humor with shock (when the baby was flown across the room) to create an ad that made viewers want to seek opinions or start conversations on their social networks.

Facial coding analysis from Affectiva showed that people increasingly felt happy and amused as the ad went on. The biggest peak was from the final scene where the main characters screamed in the hospital room. A small number of viewers were disgusted throughout the entire ad, showing that negative responses stemmed from an overall dislike of the ad.




“Ultrasound” was also a winner when it comes to brand metrics. Doritos was among the top Super Bowl brands for purchase intent, with 66% of viewers saying they would be likely to purchase the product in the future.

Super Bowl ads were generally well branded this year with an average brand recall of 86%, higher than the US average of 75%. Doritos received the highest brand recall result at 93%. In this ad, Doritos made sure its product was front and center and integral to the video, particular its most emotive moments.




When a brand creates content that also boosts brand recall and purchase intent, it’s called valuable virality – something all brands should be reaching for, but very few ever actually achieve.

Find out more about our Science of Sharing white paper.