Mountain Dew’s “Puppymonkeybaby” was hardly the most popular spot in Super Bowl 50 — at least according to viewer opinion. The bizarre commercial ranked only 55th out of 63 ads on this year’s USA Today Ad Meter list.
But it did produce more smiles than any other spot, according to a facial recognition study performed by Annalect, Omnicom’s data platform.
The results of the “Moodometer” study, which captured the facial expressions of 134 people as they watched five random Super Bowl 50 commercials, raises questions about measurement and the disparity between what viewers say they enjoy and what actually moves them.
Other spots to rate high on the Moodometer study include the “Kung Fu Panda 3” tie-in ad from Wix.com, which landed at number 40 on Ad Meter, as well as Axe’s “Find Your Magic” and Shock Top’s “Unfiltered Talk,” which ranked 49th and 41st on Ad Meter, respectively. However, other highly-ranked Moodometer spots, like Marmot’s “Love the Outside” and Amazon Echo’s “Baldwin Bowl,” ranked similarly on Ad Meter — both made it into the top 20. The Snickers ad that replaced Marilyn Monroe with Willem Dafoe in a white dress scored fourth in Moodometer smiles, 16th on Ad Meter and 10th in the annual likeability rankings from Ace Metrix, an ad-scoring company. Paypal’s first Super Bowl spot was the third happiest and seventh in likeability.
The Moodometer’s last metric scored aversion, as measured by narrowed brows, wrinkled noses and “visible protrusions of the tongue.” Yes, some people make retching faces when they watch ads they don’t like, even when they know researchers are watching. “Ad Meter measures likeabilty — the entertainment factor,” said Anna Nicanorova, director of Annalect Labs. “Moodometer measures emotional reaction.”