Super Seconds? Slidermetrix revs up for another run of Super Bowl ad ratings

According to estimates, the cost to purchase a 30-second time slot during this year’s Super Bowl is $4 million. In case you’re wondering, that works out to $133,000 per second. Yowza! That’s easily the most expensive second of airtime ever and underlines how important every second of every Super Bowl ad is–not only from an investment standpoint but from an impact standpoint as well. The buzz and scrutiny around the Super Bowl ads grows every year and typically, it’s one defining second during the ad that makes the difference between boom or bust, memorable or forgettable.


It’s those “Super Seconds” that drive the intrigue around the Slidermetrix testing we do with regard to the Super Bowl ads. Using Slidermetrix, a viewer is asked to continuously rate what they are watching second-by-second. So, in the case of a Super Bowl ad, we get a real-time, second-by-second snapshot of each viewer’s opinion, providing a deeper level of data than what you get from other types of ratings (like the star or thumbs up/down ratings you typically see online).

This method is similar to the Moment-to-Moment dial testing Dialsmith does for advertising and media researchers who use their data for placement and programming decisions as well as for content direction, including decisions by advertisers on the content for ads that air during the Super Bowl. While the results from the Slidermetrix testing is more anecdotal than scientific—the videos being rated are typically housed on a public website where it is difficult to control the sample—the results are nonetheless fascinating. For example, the testing we did for last year’s Super Bowl ads of almost 7,500 viewers revealed the highest rated second and lowest rated second amongst all viewers as well as for all males and all females. In some cases (like in the case of the Budweiser Clydesdale “Brotherhood” ad), the high peaks corresponded with high overall mean rating for the ad. But in other cases (like in the case of the Calvin Klein “Concept” ad), a high peak rating of a second during the ad by female viewers wasn’t indicative of the ad’s low overall mean rating. By identifying these peak and valley snapshots, we’re able to “unravel” the key moments that make the ad memorable and impactful.


With the next crop of Super Bowl ads on their way, Slidermetrix will be working with a new media partner and gathering feedback again by the second. Which seconds will be super and which will not? Stay tuned.