Super Bowl 2013 Best Ads

February 4, 2013 10:13:38 AM PST
The Super Bowl telecast is one of the biggest nights for advertisers.

The stakes are high with the average 30 second spot bearing a record-breaking cost of $4 Million and many new brands joined perennial fan favorites in this year's advertising lineup. As usual, students and professors at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University watched the game for the commercials to break down which ones worked and which ones did not.


Tide Tops 2013 Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review; Lincoln, BlackBerry and Go Daddy Lag the Field

EVANSTON, Ill., (February 3, 2013) ? Tide earned top marks for its "miracle stain" ad, winning the ninth-annual Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review. Other top-ranked advertisers for 2013 include M&M's, Best Buy, Axe, Wonderful Pistachios and Jeep, while BlackBerry and Lincoln ranked at the bottom of the always-anticipated Review.

"Tide really broke through the clutter with a very engaging spot," said Clinical Professor of Marketing Tim Calkins, who leads the event with a panel of students from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. "At Kellogg, our Review evaluates the ads based on strategic execution and the potential to build brands. Tide, M&M's and Best Buy all did a terrific job connecting engaging spots to product benefits."

This year's Super Bowl featured several long ads with elaborate stories. The Jeep and Samsung spots did well, earning an A and B grade, respectively, while Dodge finished in the middle of the pack. Another leader was Budweiser's 60-second Clydesdale promotion, although Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light and Budweiser Black Crown ads did not fare well, pulling the company's overall ranking down.

BlackBerry finished at the bottom of the ranking due to weak branding and the lack of a compelling benefit. Other advertisers receiving low scores included Century 21, Calvin Klein, Subway, Lincoln and Go Daddy.

"We've come to expect Go Daddy to fare poorly in the annual Review, but were surprised at the Lincoln and BlackBerry ads," said Associate Professor of Marketing Derek D. Rucker, who also leads the Review. "Both companies have been struggling as of late and really needed to score a touchdown with their Super Bowl spots. Unfortunately, both fell flat and failed to give consumers a compelling reason to care about their brands."

Unlike other popularity-based reviews, the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review uses a strategic academic framework known as ADPLAN. The acronym, developed by Kellogg School faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.

"This was a solid year for Super Bowl advertisers, though we didn't necessarily see any breakthrough spots that will be memorable for years to come," said John Felton, one of 58 Kellogg MBA students who participated on the Ad Review panel.

A full list of the rankings can be found here.

About the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is a premier institution for management education - a global community that believes business can be bravely led, passionately collaborative and world changing. Founded in 1908 and based just outside of Chicago, Kellogg is home to a renowned, research-based faculty and MBA students from around the world. The Kellogg School's academic portfolio includes the Full-Time, Part-Time and Executive MBA Programs, the Ph.D. Program, and the non-degree Executive Education Program. The school offers two joint-degree programs: the JD-MBA and the MMM (MBA-MEM). Additionally, the school offers an Executive MBA Program at its campus in Miami and has forged partnerships with leading business schools in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Canada. To learn more, visit

To learn more about the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review, visit For more information about the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, visit