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How did Super Bowl LIII’s commercials really perform?

Our UnrulyEQ team have been hard at work over the past few days putting 13 of Super Bowl LIII’s biggest commercials of 2019 through their paces to find out how successful they were, and the results are in!

Click here to see the full analysis of all 13 commercials.

Bumble: The Ball is in Her Court

One of the Super Bowl LIII’s most talked about commercials of this year came from dating app Bumble. This was their first time advertising during the big game and they pulled out all the stops by bringing one of the world’s most famous sportswomen, Serena Williams, on board to help convey their message.


The ad achieved an overall UnrulyEQ score of 4.7 which is just under the US norm of 5. This was predominantly driven by evoking a good level of intense emotional responses (36%) amongst viewers. However, compared to the US norm the ad resulted in slightly lower brand favourability (33%) and intent to purchase (31%), which in turn inhibited the UnrulyEQ score somewhat.

The ad evoked noticeable levels of intense inspiration (22%) and pride (15%) among viewers, considerably above the US norm (10% and 5% respectively). This was likely a direct result of using Serena Williams as the brand’s spokesperson, relating to her story of being a successful female athlete and conveying an empowering message for women to stand out and make the first move.

Viewers of the Bumble commercial were slightly more confused compared to the US norm. This was likely due to a noticeable proportion of viewers being unfamiliar with the product and hence were somewhat confused about the link between Serena Williams and the brand. Ultimately, this likely inhibited the emotional response to the ad, which filtered through to brand metrics.

Google: 100 Billion Words

Google surprised audiences this year by not taking the hilarity route that many expected from them and opting to take audiences on an emotional journey around the world to showcase the translation services offered through Google Assistant.


The ad achieved an overall UnrulyEQ score of 6.7, coming in second place out of all the Super Bowl LIII’s commercials that we tested. The commercial scored a huge 90% for credibility and authenticity, and 88% for relatability, indicating viewers felt the ad rang true to their experiences and perceptions of Google’s translation software. The commercial also scored highly for brand recall (76%), which was likely due to the use of both audio and visual branding, combined with the familiarity of the brand and lingering on the end-screen to allow viewers to ensure a strong link back to the brand.

The advert evoked an intense emotional response amongst viewers (47%), above the US norm (31%). The emotional response was led by warmth (26%), happiness (25%) and inspiration (24%), all above the respective US norms. The high levels of warmth and happiness were likely related to the ad featuring a number of relationships and human connections throughout the ad. Meanwhile, inspiration was likely dually fuelled; by the narrator of the ad telling an inspirational story of the power of words, but also by the ad depicting a wide range of ways in which one can use Google Translate, which viewers might not have been aware of previously. The latter was further evident by the strong knowledge driven by the ad, indicating viewers felt highly informed by the content.

Olay: Killer Skin

Olay followed the hilarity and nostalgia route this year and launched a Super Bowl spot, featuring and paying homage to the horror movies and TV shows that Sarah Michelle Gellar starred in.


The commercial achieved an UnrulyEQ score of 4.2 which was the lowest out of all the Super Bowl ads we tested this year. This was a result of the ad evoking a relatively low emotional response (24%), which in turn filtered through to below average brand favourability (29%) and purchase intent (37%) for the US. The ad saw considerably strong confusion (21%) amongst viewers which likely inhibited the overall performance of the ad. The results point to many finding the storyline somewhat far-fetched, whilst some did not understand the link between the horror theme and the product.

The ad evoked laughter amongst a good proportion of viewers, closely followed by amazement. A considerable proportion of viewers were surprised by the use of a horror theme, which in turn made the ad stand out and drove good brand recall (75%). The ad was clearly created with hilarity in mind, and although this was the highest scoring emotion from the ad, when looking at other Super Bowl ads that it ran alongside, including M&Ms and Amazon (which both scored 23% for hilarity), it’s clear the ad didn’t hit the heights that it was aiming for.

Click here to find out UnrulyEQ scores for the other 10 Super Bowl ads.