Each year, the Super Bowl is the most-watched sporting event in the US, attracting more than 100 million viewers and generating just as much buzz for the advertising as the teams playing in the championship game and the halftime performance. And with advertisers investing millions of dollars to produce and air their big game commercials, there’s pressure on brands to deliver great work that will drive market share growth.
For years the Boston Beer Company has debuted new game-day creative for Samuel Adams from its agency partner Goodby Silverstein & Partners. The regional ads also enlist the help of the brand’s recurring Fluent Device “Your Cousin from Boston,” who can be counted on to bring humor, fun and a bit of rebellion.
Ensuring that these ads land well with viewers across major markets is key.
“Innovation and experimentation is in our DNA, so we also bring that energy into the planning process for our big game commercial each year,” said Lesya Lysyj, CMO, the Boston Beer Company. “Understanding how consumers are going to respond before we finalize our creative is key.”
The Boston Beer Company leveraged System1’s Test Your Ad platform to understand the commercial impact of its advertising for the 2022 and 2023 games. Test Your Ad surveys real audiences and measures their second-by-second emotional response to pinpoint how creative makes people feel. Ultimately, ads will leave viewers feeling happy to solidify positive brand associations and quick recall at the time of purchase.
System1’s team of experts also provide guidance to brands and agencies to help enhance the brand-building potential of advertising. With insights around story arc, characters, soundtrack and more, advertisers can often implement minor changes that have a major, positive impact on effectiveness.
System1’s Star Rating, on a scale from 1 to 5, predicts the long-term effectiveness of ads. The Spike Rating predicts the short-term sales potential, with scores of 1.3 and above predicting strong or exceptional activity. Lastly, the Fluency Rating indicates the strength of brand recognition. Combined, the three metrics give marketers a clear picture of an ad’s performance.
“We believe in the value of testing early and often, especially with such a wide-reaching campaign like a big game commercial,” added Lysyj. “System1’s platform is incredibly efficient and effective at predicting the success of our creative and identifying areas of improvement.”
Nearly half of ads in System1’s database score 1-Star and only 1% score 5-Stars. Even for the Super Bowl, a time when brands are hyper-focused on developing strong creative, commercials consistently average in the 2-Star range from year to year.
In 2022, Samuel Adams’ spot featuring “Your Cousin” and robots from Boston Dynamics took the top spot among all Super Bowl ads with 4.9-Stars and exceptional Spike and Fluency Ratings. In 2023, “Your Cousin” imagined a Boston where everyone is nice to one another, and walked away with a 3-Star result for the 30-second game-day commercial and an even higher Star Rating for the 60-second version that dropped ahead of the game. Since the launch of Boston Lager Remastered, Samuel Adams has seen a 4.7% increase in Boston Lager.
“System1 measures what truly matters. We’re thrilled to have won the hearts of viewers and the number one ranking in 2022 and a strong result in 2023 as well,” said Lysyj.
“We talk a lot about the advantages that recurring characters afford brands and ’Your Cousin from Boston’ is no exception,” said Jon Evans, Chief Customer Officer, System1. “We have enjoyed working closely with the Boston Beer Company over the years to help them create ads that resonate with viewers and drive positive business effects.”
"We believe in the value of testing early and often, especially with such a wide-reaching campaign like a big game commercial. System1’s platform is incredibly efficient and effective at predicting the success of our creative and identifying areas of improvement."Lesya Lysyj CMO, The Boston Beer Company