Turns out, the most-viewed Super Bowl ad was one submitted by the public
But recently released figures by the Nielsen Company show that the most-watched advertisement during the most-watched episode of TV ever was the "Snack Attack Samurai" commercial presented by Doritos during Sunday's Super Bowl -- one of several ads submitted to the company from the general public in a contest.
Developed by a thirtysomething Minneapolis filmmaker, the ad was one of four commercials aired in the game by Doritos, which offered finalists cash if the ads placed on USA Today's Super Bowl Admeter (a different spot, featuring a dog putting a shock collar on human, won $600,00 by placing second in USA Today's poll).
The results don't bode well for professional ad guys, who saw upstarts from across the country dream up the best-liked ads in the biggest commercial showcase on television. This ranking has al ot of do with when the commercial aired -- preliminary figures showed just about half the homes with TVs were watching the game at 9:30 p.m., which is when the most-watched ads aired.
Left unanswered: Why are guys working out at a health club eating Doritos in the first place?
Here's Nielsen's list and a copy of the ad:
Most Viewed Ads During Super Bowl XLIV
1 - DORITOS/Gym, aired at 9:30:01 PM, drew 116,231,920 viewers
2 - AUDI/Green Police, 9:26:29 PM, 115,647,840
3 - ELECTRONIC ARTS/Dante’s Inferno
9:15:22 PM - 115,063,760
4 - HONDA/Squirrel - 9:20:20 PM, 114,771,720
5 - TACO BELL/It Rocks, 9:27:29 PM, 114,771,720
6 - BUD LIGHT/Book Party, 9:32:13 PM, 114,771,720
7 HYUNDAI/Built By Hand, 9:32:43 PM, 114,771,720
8 - BUDWEISER/Horse Fence, 9:15:52 PM, 113,603,560
9 - US CENSUS BUREAU/Production Mtg
8:49:23 PM, 113,019,480
10 - E*TRADE/5 Babies, 9:33:13 PM, 112,727,440
Source: The Nielsen Company
Focus on the Family’s ad featuring Tim Tebow tied for the least viewed ad of Super Bowl XLIV, despite the heavy pre-game buzz going into the game.
Only paid advertisements were included in the list (see appendix below). But Nielsen’s analysis found that the much-discussed 15-second promo for CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” featuring cameo appearances by Jay Leno and Oprah Winfrey was seen by an estimated 110.4 million viewers.