Broad MBA female student taking notes

Students rated and scored each ad based on six key areas to assess its impact.

Super Bowl ads are the pinnacle of brand advertising, costing an astounding $5.6 million on average for a 30-second time slot during this year’s game. While some ads live up to expectations, others fall flat in terms of impact. In the Broad College’s first Broad Bowl LIV, MBA students provided brand ratings for ads that aired during Super Bowl LIV.

“We were able to draw from our consumer insights, brand strategy and marketing research course experiences to help assess the positioning of the ads to use as a reference to gauge the brands’ targeted segment(s) to properly rate each brand in an unbiased fashion,” Christian Opacich (MBA ’20) said.

Through Broad Bowl LIV, MBA students set out to assess how much impact each ad made by considering multiple parameters, such as boldness and positive or negative sentiment as a result. The effort was led by Opacich, MaTisha Steele and Tyler Krusic, who are all MBA Marketing students involved with the MBA Marketing Association.

The students used the Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management Super Bowl Ad Review parameters, which focus on six key areas:

  • Attention: Does the ad engage the audience?
  • Distinction: Is the execution unique in delivery?
  • Positioning: Is the appropriate category represented and a strong benefit featured?
  • Linkage: Will the brand and benefit be remembered?
  • Amplification: Are viewers’ thoughts favorable?
  • Net equity: Is the ad consistent with the brand’s history and reputation?

Broad MBA students rated the ads using a five-point Likert scale, aggregating and averaging each score to find the top three ads.

Google’s “Loretta,” which was developed by a Broad Spartan alumnus, took first; Little Caesars’s “Best Thing Since Sliced Bread” took second, and Hyundai’s “Smaht Pahk” took third. In addition, the students found which ad performed the worst according to their rating scale: Squarespace’s “Winona in Winona.”

“Being able to connect what they have learned in their academic courses is a highlight of what our MBA student organizations are for,” William Horton-Anderson, assistant director of the Full-Time MBA program, said. “However, being invited to witness a first for the MBA program and to see the drive and connection around a specific area is what made this program, and others, so successful.”