Last Sunday was the Super Bowl,the biggest sports event in the US, and the most expensive advertising space on TV at a global level. This year, the cost of a 30-second ad for the Super Bowl mounted up to $5 million, up from an estimated $4.8 million in 2016. 

On top of that, brands spent an additional 25% to 100% of that cost on marketing the ads themselves, according to Mary Scott, President, Global Integrated Communications at UEG, a US sports and entertainment marketing agency.

To find out which of these ads were having the desired impact, ZappiStore partnered with BrainJuicer to test every Super Bowl ad within minutes of being aired, and then report on the results live through social media. 

For us, this was an ambitious test of our new automation technology, Zappi.Pro, conducted on what was, globally, the biggest night for the advertising industry. Three of our team were presenting the live broadcast, 6 manned our social media channels to share the results, and 3 others ran each of the ad tests.

Super Bowl ad testing results

In just a few hours, we were able to tap into the perceptions and opinions of over six thousand consumers across the US, and we had tested 79 commercials, collectively worth over $400 million.

Empowered by automation, our team was able to test all of the ads in real-time. The moment the results came out of the field, they could share the reports with the marketing team across the table. At the end of the night, not only did we have detailed insights into each of the ads aired, but we also managed to obtain a data-driven analysis on US advertising – ‘sadvertisinghad been beaten by humor. 

Testing ads as they air and reporting on them live, well that’s great! But what does that mean? Yes there is a need for speed these days, but I believe automation goes beyond that. I believe we can perform faster and better! Our feat demonstrated that automation enables scalability and focus of market research in today’s business environment. These are the two crucial factors that researchers need to master to remain relevant and impactful in the field of advertising.


There is something to be said about how we allocated the time and staff during our live testing. Nine of us shared our learnings and discussed the impact,while just three of us were needed for the process of generating insights. As a former corporate market researcher who has spent far too many hours of his life selling the value of waiting up to six weeks for research and managing projects to get to a single data point, I find this to be both exciting and liberating.

If the use of automation allows insights professionals to reduce their process to the bare minimum and focus on the essentials, then they will do what they do best, i.e., extract meaningful insights, communicate them, and guide business decisions.When it comes to advertising, this translates into more effective ads, increased ROI, and it also helps consumers get more of what they want from the brands.


In an ideal world, all business decisions should be led by some consumer insight or feedback. However, in reality, this is not the case. This is not because businesses do not value insights, but because the processes involved in generating insights are difficult to scale and are disconnected from the pace of today’s business environment.

Those days are now in the past! If we can test and report on Super Bowlads in under an hour of them being aired, with just a team of 12, there is no reason to neglect research and consumer feedback anymore. Brands can now combine this ability to streamline their processes and deliver in record time, while focusing on understanding and activating insights.

All in all, we feel this is a reason to celebrate! Not only because The Patriots won, but because of how automation enables the true power of market research and can deliver the voice of the consumer to the table early and often.

For more information about Zappi.Pro, visit

Julio Franco

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Julio Franco

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