Clydesdale and puppy edge out big-name celebrities

An impecccably groomed Clydesdale and a cute puppy have succeeded in doing what Ellen DeGeneres, Bob Dylan, The Muppets, and Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t.

The duo proved to be the runaway winner among advertisements aired during Super Bowl 2014 for going viral.

A heartwarming moment. Photo: Budweiser
A heartwarming moment. Photo: Budweiser

Research by marketing technology firm Unruly Media showed that while a host of celebrity names were hauled out by advertisers in a multimillion-dollar advertising Super Bowl push, it was the Budweiser beer advertisement with the Clydesdale and the puppy which won over hearts and went viral on the internet.

In fact, its report, The Science of Sharing 2014 – which looks at commercials from this year’s Super Bowl to see why some performed well online and others missed the mark – went so far as to suggest that using celebrities to drive word-of-mouth was a waste of money.

The research found that very few viewers cited the famous faces on show as a key reason why they would share the ads with their social networks.

Despite the wealth of celebrities on show at Super Bowl – Bob Dylan, Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Colbert, The Muppets, U2, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the cast of 1990s sitcom Full House – online shares of ads that aired during the 2014 Super Bowl decreased by almost a third from the previous year.

It was the first time shares of Super Bowl ads had decreased year-on-year.

Unruly’s research revealed that none of the top three most-shared ads from Super Bowl 2014 featured celebrities.

Unruly found that Microsoft rather than Budweiser could easily have taken Super Bowl honors instead of Budweiser, and reported that poor branding meant 93 percent of people who saw Dylan’s ad did not realize it was for Chrysler. Four percent thought it was an ad for rival Ford.

Budweiser’s Puppy Love commercial, launched on January 29, was the runaway viral winner of Super Bowl 2014, quickly racking up two million shares. The YouTube clip has been viewed more than 50 million times.

The most share-able ads identified in the study evoked intense psychological responses among viewers, the report said. The most shared ad this year used warmth and happiness as its key emotional triggers.

“Brands should save the celebrities for the half-time show,” Unruly US president Richard Kosinski said.

“It wasn’t famous faces which had people sharing at this year’s Super Bowl, it was a cute puppy, a caring soldier and a multicultural ad from Coca-Cola that stole the show.

“For brands, it’s no longer just about their TV ads being watched on Super Bowl Sunday. With more than 24 million shares tracked every 24 hours, the real opportunity for marketers is to connect their paid TV sponsorship with their paid media online, where their ads can be watched and shared before, during and way after the Big Game.”

More information:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend