goPuff, a convenience store delivery service dreamed up by two roommates at Drexel University who were sick of making trips to the store for late night snacks, dug deep into their historical records of top orders and most popular products sold on a regular Sunday and compared those to sale spikes during the Super Bowl to uncover correlations between customer orders and commercials during the big game.
The company created a Super Bowl “Munchie Meter” as a tool to show television advertisers what is working for them and to identify ads that may have been entertaining, but not necessarily impactful in terms of immediate purchase, according to the company co-founders Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola.
“Online, it’s really easy for digital marketing channels to directly trace ads to click-throughs and, ultimately, to purchases, but TV advertisers are at a disadvantage in that respect,” they told FoodNavigator-USA in an email.
PepsiCo is the biggest winner
The “Munchie Meter,” which takes into account sales from the more than 20 cities where goPuff operates currently, revealed a whopping 17% increase of sales of Mountain Dew within 90 minutes of the beverage’s commercial for MTN Dew Ice featuring Morgan Freeman lip syncing to Missy Elliott and shooting frost from his finger tips and breath after sipping the starring beverage.
Freeman’s performance in the first quarter throws down a gauntlet that was immediately picked up by Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage in the commercial for Doritos Blaze. In it Dinklage bites into PepsiCo’s newest Dorito flavor, which launched in January and is billed as having a “complex flavor and heat that builds as you crunch.” After just one bite a fire place behind Drinklage explodes in flames and he begins lip syncing to Busta Rhymes.
The second commercial, why equally star-studded and fast paced, wasn’t quite as impactful, although the 10% lift in Doritos sales tracked by goPuff is “a noteworthy lift,” according to the service’s co-founders.
They noted in an email to FoodNavigator-USA that some of the ads’ success can be attributed to the pairing of the two brands in a way that wasn’t done before and which brought the products to consumers’ minds at the same time.
PepsiCo, which owns Mountain Dew and Doritos, continued its advertising winning streak during the Super Bowl with an ad for itself self-named soda that sought to bring generations together by showing snippets of different celebrities who have endorsed the beverage through the years. The line up included Cindy Crawford and her son Presley Gerber as well as shots of Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future, which starred one-time endorser Michael J. Fox.
The ad, when paired with Pepsi’s sponsorship of the half time show provided a “meaningful bump in Pepsi sales, causing a 13% spike when compared to sales on a regular Sunday,” according to the goPuff founders.
This increase is particularly notable considering the delivery service didn’t see the same impact on sales for Coke, which also featured a feel-good commercial that attempted to unite diverse populations with diverse beverage options. To an extent the ad is the type of world peace promoting commercial many have come to expect from Coca-Cola, but the sales data from goPuff suggest it didn’t energize its base the same way Pepsi’s ad did.
Single digit increases of mature brands is nothing to sneeze at
While not as dramatic as some of the other winning commercials during the Super Bowl, Pringles commercial featuring Bill Hader presaged an 8% sales lift of the chips within 90 minutes of the airing. Some critics dismissed the ad as a waste of Bill Hader, but by promoting the idea of stacking different flavored Pringles to make “recipes,” the commercial likely inspired many viewers to buy not just one can of Pringles, but many so they could immolate the star.
Sales of M&Ms also grew 6% in the first quarter of the big game after its ad featuring Danny DeVito as the red M&M turned human aired. While these results may seem to fall short compared to some of the other big winners of the night, the co-founders of goPuff defend the lift as “notable” given that it is for a mature brand that already has a loyal following and strong sales.