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Super Bowl ads gained increased exposure this year as Super Bowl XLIX was the highest-rated Super Bowl in history, as well as the most-engaged one in social media.
Nevertheless, some ads reached the endzone with viewers, while some were sacked by poor reception. "In general, I'd give [ads] a B-plus," Jim Cooper, editorial editor at Ad Week, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street " on Monday. "I think there was a lot of good creative [advertising] and a lot of new, interesting players that took a huge risk in spending those $4.5 million…Now they're sort of on the mainstream radar of the nation after being in such a big stage." One of these new players is Wix, a cloud-based web development platform.
Cooper said he found the most successful ads contained at least one of these three elements: Sentimentality, nostalgia and humor. "People ultimately want to feel good watching these ads during the game, he said. "Snark and sarcasm don't play well."
Negatively-toned ads are also less likely to play well with viewers during the Super Bowl, Cooper said. "[Nationwide] brought the mood down," he said. "They got crushed on social media for it."
The insurance provider's ad during the game Sunday night featured the ghost of a dead child. Some viewers, however, might have missed what the ad was about, Jon Steinberg, CEO of Daily Mail North America, told CNBC's "Squawk Alley " Monday. "I went back and watched the commercial to figure out what it was about," Steinberg said. "They didn't do a good enough explanation of what the protection was that they were bringing. It seemed like they were playing off of the death of this child."
Another ad that missed the mark Sunday night was T-Mobile's data commercial featuring Kim Kardashian, Cooper said. "It's Kim Kardashian.," he said. "You have to, sort of, go there and have a much more creative ad. I think that was very flat and there wasn't much to it."
On the other hand, Steinberg said he thought the ad featuring Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel was great. "I think the Super Bowl is entertainment," Steinberg said. "I think you want to go with fun ads that everybody talks about [and] stir up a humorous conversation. That's why I really liked the Katie Kuric ad. It was so bizarre; the archival footage was ridiculous."
Social media engagement also helped companies in their advertising efforts during the Super Bowl, as many took to Facebook and Twitter on their mobile devices to voice their opinions about the game and ads, Mark Josephson, CEO of Bitly, told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Monday. "The most interesting we saw was the rise of the second screen," he said. "People talk about [mobile devices] being a second screen, but during the game it's absolutely a companion screen; during breaks in play, [mobile devices] take over."
Josephson added the company saw this trend across both Facebook and Twitter. Nevertheless, while Facebook took top honors during the game in terms of mentions, Twitter drove the conversation. "We see that consistently, during real-time events, Twitter tends to do very well," Josephson said. "It's a great real-time [platform] because you get to see [the conversation, and you can track it down. In terms of gross volume, Facebook continues to be so dominant in terms of scale across anything relative to what Twitter does."