Microsoft’s Super Bowl Spot Ranked ‘Most Emotionally Effective’

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Among the many winners of the Super Bowl—The Chiefs, Andy Reid’s legacy, Punxsutawney Phil—Microsoft’s “Be the One” ad featuring San Francisco 49ers’ coach Katie Sowers was among them.

Even though Sowers won’t get a ring this year, the ad was the highest-rated “emotionally effective” Super Bowl ad from last night’s game, according to System1, a predictive marketing firm based out of London.

System1 surveyed 11,250 people across the United States in real-time, measuring how viewers responded to each commercial based on seven human emotions ranging from fear, surprise, and happiness.

The firm asked viewers to choose which emotions each ad triggered and how strongly it resonated. Although it can’t say yet whether emotional resonance correlates with an increase in sales, System1 says that rankings can determine long-term brand growth.

“For every pioneering achievement, somebody has to ‘be the one’ and do it first. In this case, it was Katie,” said Jon Evans, System1’s chief marketing officer in a statement. “Emotional response testing should be a mandatory step in your ad building campaign, especially if you’re after the world’s most sought after air time.”

Microsoft was rated the most emotionally effective ad ahead of Jeep’s Bill Murray-led Groundhog Day revival (Adweek’s top ad) and Doritos dance-off starring Lil Nas X and Sam Elliott.

Microsoft’s spot didn’t feature any celebrities, opting instead to allow Sowers to tell her own story as the NFL’s first female coach and the NFL’s first openly gay coach. Creative agency McCann was behind the 60-second ad.

This was Microsoft’s second year atop System1’s ranking, as the brand’s universally acclaimed “We All Win” spot received high marks alongside the NFL’s 100-year campaign kick-off and WeatherTech’s Scout ad.

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