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Last five seconds of ads during Super Bowl determine winners and losers, study finds

Super Bowl advertising is won or lost in the closing seconds of a spot, according to a recent study out of Ipsos ASI.

Partnering with Realeyes and using the firm’s facial coding technology, researchers at Ipsos measured the second-by-second emotional response of 1,400 people as they watched Super Bowl ads in real time.

The measures included overall emotional engagement and incidence of six emotions as well as positive and negative emotion for all 86 of the ads.

The top ten 2015 Super Bowl ads ranked by engagememnt in the last five seconds are as follows:

1. DORITOS: Middle Seat - overall ad engagement of 81 per cent

2. FIAT: The Blue Pill - overall ad engagement of 86 per cent

3. DISCOVER: Surprise - overall ad engagement of 83 per cent

4. McDONALD's: Pay with Lovin' - overall ad engagement of 89 per cent

5. BUDWEISER: Lost Dog - overall ad engagement of 86 per cent

6. NATIONWIDE: Invisible Mindy - overall ad engagement of 86 per cent

7. UNIVERSAL PICTURES: Ted 2 - overall ad engagement of 83 per cent

8. BUD LIGHT: Pac Man - overall ad engagement of 92 per cent

9. MERCEDES-BENZ: Fable - overall ad engagement of 88 per cent

10. SNICKERS: The Brady Bunch - overall ad engagement of 78 per cent

Lana Busignani, president of Ipsos ASI US, said that one of the most obvious patterns in the data is how the best ads perform at the end.

“A spot that tells a great story, but loses people when the sponsoring brand shows up, is a very expensive mistake,” she said.

Elissa Moses, EVP and head of the Neuro and Behavorial Science Center at Ipsos, said: "If a Super Bowl advertiser can engage the public in the last five seconds of the spot, with its brand immersed in the warm glow of positive emotion, that's when the ultimate branding payoff occurs.”

The study also reveals that ads receiving the most positive emotional response during the brand payoff also are extremely high on overall emotional engagement.

The Doritos “Middle Seat” commercial ranked number one in terms of engagement for the last five seconds, with overall engagement rank at 81 per cent. The study said normal overall engagement typically comes in at 77 per cent.

The ad saw a slow upward engagement trend, but engagement in the last third of the ad quickly accelerated as the joke paid off.

Nationwide’s “Invisible Mindy Kaling” ad ranked number six in terms of engagement for the last five seconds, with overall ad engagement at 86 per cent.

Engagement was slow in the first half of the ad but then picked up in the second half as Kaling approaches actor Matt Damon. According to the study, engagement peaked sharply in the last five seconds.

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