Posted February 8, 2011 4:39 pm by with 5 comments

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Probably not.

Nielsen has turned in the numbers on this year’s Super Bowl ads and what was popular and what was memorable were two very different things.

Little Darth Vader attempting to use the Force on everything from baby dolls to the dryer took the top spot as the most popular Super Bowl ad, but it didn’t even make the top ten for brand recall.

Doritos was the winner across the board with ads that were both popular and had high brand recognition. The Pug attack got the top spot for the most recalled brand ad while the licking cheese fingers and grandpa’s ashes came in fourth and fifth for popularity.

Bridgestone’s beaver saves the day ad was the second most popular but didn’t make the recall list at all. Incredibly, the E-Trade baby came in third most popular. I’m over those babies and I’m surprised it pinged at all.

On the recall end, other than Doritos, Budweiser and PepsiMax all scored in the top five.

Groupon didn’t make either list, so apparently their controversial ad wasn’t controversial enough to be remembered.

The marketing takeaway from all of this? Cute is popular but it doesn’t sell cars, expensive fantasy graphics won’t make you remembered or popular, but slapstick sells. Hit a guy with a dog or a woman with a Pepsi can and watch your sales skyrocket.

It’s a sad, sad, world.

See the full list of most popular and most recalled ads at

  • Leo

    YES I CAN [I think].

    Saw the ad once on youtube 3 days ago – german car manufacturer … VW if I recall correctly … what did I win?

    Only remember it because I was impressed “how well” the little Darth acted when nothing moved, and then when the car finally came to life – very funny for [us] geeks 🙂

  • This is funny! I knew it was a car ad, but couldn’t recall which car. Good work!

  • Talking babies and monkeys… they hit the populist funny bone every time. Sure, they can be funny, but they get old quick. Most people can never get enough, so hey, if it works don’t fix it! Just make sure the monkey is wearing your logo (or something).

  • Danielle

    yes, it was volkswagen, my favorite car company. so happy with their ad. it spoke to my generation of star wars fans who are are starting to have families. Well done.

  • This year’s super bowl ads really didn’t live up to the hype…but that’s becoming more difficult as the ads grow more “hyped” than the game.

    A few were clever, like the Bridgestone beaver’s payoff, but most appeared to be conceived by committees who resorted to to lowest common denominators. With all the incredible talent out there, I expected more.