USA Today Uses Ad Meter to Track Super Bowl’s Best and Worst Commercial
For the last 23 years, USA Today had been using Ad Meter to rate Super Bowl’s best and worst commercial. This is a survey method that involves live poll during the telecast in the United States of the annual professional American football championship game of the National Football League. It utilizes a live response on a zero-to-ten scale – zero being the worst and 10 being the best – of focus groups based in McLean, Virginia.
It all started in 1984 when Apple computer introduced a one-time only advertisement for their Macintosh. Because it was such a hit, it became the talk of the town instead of the actual game. Since then advertisers flocked Super Bowl even with a spending of 3.5 million dollars on a 30-seconder spot. It’s been a proven fact that America not only watches the game but also the commercials. Because of this USA Today decided to start the Ad Meter, a poll that gives live responses per second of each commercial. Its mechanics involve the commercials shown during the game – from opening kickoff to the end of the game, not including those shown at halftime or local commercials.
Super Bowl’s first best commercial was awarded to American Express in 1989 by USA Today newspaper. The commercial was about actors Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey going to the big game with credit cards – Lovitz with Visa and Carvey with American Express. Since then America had seen and voted for their favorite commercials during the game’s breaks.
For 2012, another component was added to the Ad Meter. Facebook users and those logged in to USA TODAY website had a second survey that lasted until February 7th, 6PM US EST.
Inspired by the effectiveness of the Ad Meter, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) joined the bandwagon. It recently announced its own voting system where audience can re-watch the Super Bowl commercials and pick their favorite commercial of the year.
The Ad Meter is also applicable to other events or activities such as mock jury, political debate assessment, tv show and movie testing, radio ratings and others.
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