Media Seeks Out Warschawski CEO For Expert Commentary On USA Today Super Bowl Ad Ratings and ROI

BALTIMORE – February 8, 2018 – Warschawski, a full-service advertising, marketing, digital, public relations, branding, web design, creative and crisis communications agency, released its list of the 2018 Super Bowl advertising top winners and losers. As usual, Warschawski’s CEO, David Warschawski, was asked to comment for the media on numerous topics relating to the Super Bowl. The most common two questions revolved around ROI of the advertisements and analyzing The USA Today’s ad ratings.

What Warschawski found was that for the vast majority of companies, 1-5 seconds of Super Bowl air time equals their entire annual budget for marketing communications.  At $5 million per 30 second spot, or well over $150K per second, the Super Bowl is the wrong place for most advertisers.  Especially today, when organizations can use their budget for digital marketing techniques that are less expensive, far more targeted, and provide very clear insight into ROI. Only the top big brands with exceedingly large budgets, or brands that are willing to gamble aggressively, can and should participate in the Super Bowl of Advertising.

The most common misconception that David addressed centers around the lens people use to judge the Super Bowl ads. There is a very important distinction to be made between good entertainment for the masses and a great commercial that is likely to move its specific target audience to action or to change a perception.

The USA Today’s Ad meter is great for gauging the populace’s favorite piece of entertainment, but a poor way to gauge if an organization’s millions of dollars were spent well on a Super Bowl Ad.  As the general populace votes in The USA Today tracking meter, it is a generalized assessment of which ad entertained people the most and not which ad moved a specific target audience with a clear goal in mind.

Once again, this year too many companies fell into the trap of trying to be great entertainment but produced weak ads.  Two examples of this were the Amazon Alexa ad and the Danny DeVito M&M spot.  According to USA Today’s Ad meter, Alexa won the top spot, but in reality, it was far from the best ad.  In fact, Warschawski ranked it as one of its Top Ten Losers for this year.

“Which target audience wants to associate eating Danny DeVito with eating an M&M, and which of the four very different celebrities in the Alexa ad are we to identify with the brand.  Additionally, is making fun of people’s questions to Alexa smart marketing or good entertainment?  Sadly, the latter and not the former,” commented David Warschawski.

So how should one judge Super Bowl ads? Warschawski employs a proprietary approach in creating the Warschawski Top Ten Winners and Losers List of Super Bowl Advertising – see the full list below for this year.  Our W-Best (The Warschawski BEST) Model allows Warschawski to measure the success of any advertisement or marketing piece.  Ads are scored by the categories below on a scale of 1-10, with a total score of 40 being the highest.

Brand-centric: Does it clearly reinforce the brand & what makes the brand unique?
Emotional connection: Does it make an emotional connection with a specific target audience?
Stand out: Does it stand out from its competitors and is it memorable?
Target achieved: Does it have a clear target audience & does it achieve a business goal with that target?

Warschawski’s 10 Best Ads of Super Bowl 2018, in order:

  1. Tide, “It’s Another Tide Ad Series”
  2. Doritos & Mountain Dew, “Blaze vs. Ice”
  3. Rocket Mortgage,” Make the Complex Simple”
  4. Budweiser, “Stand by Me/Water Bottling”
  5. Pringles, “Wow!”
  6. Jeep “Wrangler/Anti-Manifesto”
  7. RAM, “Vikings/We Will Rock You”
  8. Michelob Ultra, “We Like Beer”
  9. NFL, “Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr./ Dirty Dancing”
  10. Tourism Australia, “Crocodile Dundee”

Warschawski’s 10 Worst Ads of Super Bowl 2018 in order:

  1. Diet Coke, “Twisted Mango”
  2. Square Space, “Make it Happen with Keanu Reeves”
  3. Stella Artois, “ with Matt Damon”
  4. Amazon, “Alexa Lost Her Voice”
  5. Intuit TurboTax, “The Monster under the Bed”
  6. T-Mobile, “Change Starts Now/Little Ones”
  7. Intuit TurboTax, “Ghost/Noise in the Attic”
  8. Kraft, “Family Greatly”
  9. WeatherTech, “American Factory”
  10. Lexus, “Marvel Studio’s Black Panther/Long Live the King”


Warschawski is a national, fully integrated agency and a Google Certified Agency Partner that offers the following services under one roof:  Advertising, Digital, PR, Branding, Marketing Creative Design, Web Design/Development, Social Media, VR/AR, and Crisis Communications.

Warschawski delivers the experience and expertise of a large firm coupled with the personalized attention and care of a boutique agency. Warschawski was named the 2017 “U.S. Small Agency of the Year.” This is the sixth time the agency has won top honors in its 21 years of existence.  For ten consecutive years, it also has been ranked as one of the top 30 “Best Agencies to Work For” in the U.S. The company, whose clients include Fortune 500 and Inc. 500 companies, has won more than 200 awards for its marketing communications work in 15 years. Warschawski was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Baltimore, MD.