By Sheila Dang
(Reuters) – A Doritos commercial featuring the hit song “Old Town Road” and a tear-jerking ad from Google were the top commercials among viewers during Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV, while presidential campaign ads were ranked the least favorite, according to two viewer polls.
While the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the game in Miami, commercials with all-star casts and politicians battled it out during the ad breaks in the biggest advertising event of the year.
Hip-hop artist Lil Nas X and actor Sam Elliott had a dance-off in a scene set in the American Old-West in a commercial for Doritos’ “Cool Ranch” flavor. The ad ranked No. 1 in a poll from market research firm Ipsos, which conducted a live study of viewers watching the game.
In a game that saw many advertisers go for big laughs, Alphabet Inc’s Google stood out with a heartfelt ad about a man asking the Google assistant to remember details about his wife Loretta, such as her favorite flowers and that she liked to hum showtunes, as he loses his memory. The ad came in second in the Ipsos poll.
Google’s ad was a hit and had an overwhelmingly positive reaction online, according to TV advertising measurement firm iSpot, which analyzes online comments and tweets.
The tech giant is known for heartwarming stories that show how its services can change lives, such as a short film about Saroo Brierley, who was accidentally separated from his family as a child in India, and was able to find them again decades later by using Google Maps to search his hometown. Brierley’s story became a movie in 2016.
An unprecedented showing of politics in the Super Bowl threatened to overshadow brand advertisers, but viewers voted the commercials down in polls.
President Donald Trump aired a campaign commercial during the first quarter of the game promoting his record on criminal justice reform, which featured Alice Johnson, who was released from prison after being granted clemency. The campaign ad was ranked last place of a total of 62 commercials in USA Today Ad Meter, which polls viewers during the game.
Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg, who is running for the party nomination, fared only slightly better at 60th place in the Ad Meter ranking. The commercial showcased his record on gun control issues and featured gun violence activist Calandrian Simpson Kemp whose son George was shot and killed at 20 years old.
(Reporting by Sheila Dang)