Super Bowl Ads Notch Boffo Nielsens

I kind of hate to put myself in the position of defending something as quaint as the 30-second TV ad, but when data comes over the transom showing just how many people saw this year’s Super Bowl ads, well, it gets you to thinkin’.

Says Nielsen in a detailed press release (forgive me, I can’t find it online):

The average commercial aired during Super Bowl XLI received a national television rating among persons older than age two of 32.1 and was viewed by 92.8 million people, according to The Nielsen Company, which today issued a summary of Super Bowl-related advertising measurement results from its media tracking businesses.

I would like to point out that any TV producer would gladly amputate a limb to get these ratings for their actual shows.

Other data:

The big winner: HP’s motorcyling ad, which was seen by 99.5 million people.

Tied for number #1 in most-played back: The consumer-generated Doritos’ ad, specifically the one set at a cash register. Which pokes another hole in the arguyments about “professional” versus “amateur” content. (I do not like this argument. My next column touches on it in a broader look at—bad term alert—user-generated ads; will link to it when it goes up online.)

Getting Nielsen data on which ads get watched is going to make things very interesting.

As for me: I watched the Super Bowl. I also went through the commercials again via DVR. And, I gotta tell you, I don’t even remember seeing the HP ad. Not at all.

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