The Best & Worst 2011 Viral Super Bowl Ads as Judged by Online Viewers

The Best & Worst 2011 Viral Super Bowl Ads as Judged by Online Viewers

Ever since the clock ran out on Super Bowl 45 last night, Hulu has been asking its users to vote on the best and worst of the commercials that aired during the big game. The early results are in, and a few things are clear: Volkswagen is the clear winner this year, easily besting the other top-performing brands with two ads placing in the top three.

Let's break down the voting:

Most Liked 2011 Super Bowl Ads Overall

Volkswagen's The Force:

Volkswagen's Black Beetle (Video Removed)

I think it's important to point out that Volkswagen released both of these spots a week before the Super Bowl, as a bit of a preview. There were some that suggested such an early release would dim the commercials' impact, but that does not appear to have been the case at all. Instead, in terms of YouTube views, the pre-released "The Force" ad has a 15-million-view head start on "Carma," which only went online after the game.

Most Disliked Super Bowl Ads Overall

Salesforce Chatter: Still Doing Impossible Things:

Salesforce Chatter: Do Impossible Things:

GoDaddy: The Contract: (Video Removed)

Yeah, those are all awful–sorry Salesforce. I saw them during the game, and have seen them since, and I still don't know why I'm supposed to care about Chatter. Animated Black-Eyed Peas characters probably didn't help. And GoDaddy… ugh. Not even trying, but that's nothing new. They've built a reputation for fairly tasteless ads with sexual innuendo, and this year's was the same. Sad thing is… they'll likely get plenty of pageviews from it, which is why they keep doing it. They could care less what the highbrow ad analysts think.

YouTube Holds Their Own Contest

If Hulu's survey is giving us a snapshot of America's immediate reaction to the 2011 Super Bowl's slate of ads, then YouTube will let us know which spots were the best after the country has a week to reflect. They're holding a week-long voting contest, and the most popular ads will be announced next Monday, on Valentines day.

You can go here and see all the spots in one place in a pretty nifty custom interface that looks like this:

The Best & Worst 2011 Viral Super Bowl Ads as Judged by Online Viewers

I'll be curious to see how the YouTube results turn out, though I'm guessing it'll be largely the same ads at the top.

The Best Of The Rest

Since Hulu is only giving us the top three, and YouTube's rankings aren't out for another week, I thought I'd share a few of the ads from the rest of the pack that I thought were the best.

I thought the Teleflora Flowers ad with Faith Hill was funny, and I didn't find it nearly as "tasteless" as some viewers apparently did: (Video Removed)

The Coca-Cola "Border Wars" spot was pretty charming, even if it was lacking in serious laughs:

The Chevy Cruze "First Date" commercial was cute and showed off a nifty feature of the car–though I have to admit that the last thing I want is a computer voice in my car rattling off my friends' status updates–and the ad scored very high with women - (Video Removed)

The Eminem-starring "Imported From Detroit" ad for Chrysler was outstanding, even if you're not a fan of Eminem or Chrysler:

While the "Carma" commercial scored higher, Bridgestone's second ad–called "Reply All"–was also pretty funny and well-received, mostly because we can all relate to this guy's panic:

Carmax's "Kid In A Candy Store" was outstanding, fast-paced, and funny (Video Removed)

Conclusions

I will be curious to see how the ratings turn out for the game–is there any chance they can top last year's Saints-fueled ratings bonanza? The ads, however, are as big a deal as ever. This year we had major brands hold voting contests to pick their commercial, release their spots early to build buzz, and even put out teaser commercials for their Super Bowl commercials. Anyone who thinks the commercials aren't a huge part of the event is crazy.

Which ad was your favorite? Which ad do you think will ultimately garner more viral views online?

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About the Author -
Jeremy Scott is the founder of The Viral Orchard, an Internet marketing firm offering content writing and development services, viral marketing consulting, and SEO services. Jeremy writes constantly, loves online video, and enjoys helping small businesses succeed in any way he can. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • http://mantic59.blogspot.com mantic

    No love for the Snickers ad?

    • Jeremy Scott

      I would have included it, because it was worth at least a chuckle, but it's the exact same joke they've been running since last year's Super Bowl. I was hoping for something new.

  • http://vidiseo.com vidiSEO

    What's your take on the Groupon ad?

    • Jeremy Scott

      I guess I'm in the middle. I have a hard time buying all the outrage, but I think it was a pretty nearsighted marketing strategy.

      • http://www.gamersdailynews.com Christophor Rick

        I was put off by the Groupon ad personally. It really showed some negative American-centric thought processes in that it was greenlighted through who knows how many people. Then again, maybe they were planning on the insulting nature of it to drive social brand awareness heh.

        • Jeremy Scott

          I agree–way too many people signed off on this ad, and it's kind of amazing it made it through. It's not that I can't see what they were trying to do, from a comedic standpoint, but they botched it from the beginning.

  • Jcurrie

    Gotta love that VW ad!

  • http://www.gamersdailynews.com Christophor Rick

    Here's how I scored it:

    GO PACKERS!

    No wait, heh, I took notes on the ads I was able to see and kept a tally on my Facebook page.

    Doritos got 2 points for making me laugh twice.
    Volkswagen got 2 points – Vader Remote start and Beetle racing stripes
    Pepsi +1 for IWannaSleepWithherIWannaSleepWithherIWannaSleepWithher
    Kia +1 for coolest cameo – Poseidon
    Bud -1 for trying too hard – that stupid cowboy ad.

    The Cruze ad was only cool because of the tech in the car that it showed off. The Chrysler/Eminem (also predictable) made me groan. Really, Eminem, in a Chrysler? He totally sold out between that and the Brisk ad… It just made me think that Chrysler should totally merge with Fiat, drop the Chrysler name and go down that road instead. I do like that they're made in America but still… I don't know if they're Eminem-like. THough I will "put my hands up for Detroit!" heh. sorry, song lyrics I really wanted to work in :)

    • Jeremy Scott

      See, I forgive Bud the cowboy hat because of the "Tiny Dancer" sing-a-long, which made me smile. Still can't believe this is the ad they teased for nearly a month, though.

      • http://www.gamersdailynews.com Christophor Rick

        Tiny Dancer was the EXACT reason why I hated that ad. They were trying way too hard to be cool and then they went and used THAT song? Groan… LAME :)

        • Jeremy Scott

          Ha ha. Well, it was definitely not a fresh idea–stolen straight from the movie Almost Famous, actually. But it was a goofy and unexpected way to end. Like I said, made me smile… not laugh out loud.

  • http://www.gamersdailynews.com Christophor Rick

    What the heck? no one liked that Kia ad? It had aliens, Gods, time/space vortexes, handcuffs…. sheesh it was pretty cool

    • Jeremy Scott

      I didn't hate it, didn't love it. Poseidon was cool, though, no doubt.

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