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LACKLUSTER APPEAL: Critics weren't exactly bowled over by this year's crop of Super Bowl ads and neither were the media at large. News coverage from SPINdex's panel of influential media was relatively low for ads run ning in Super Bowl XXXI.

Super Bowl heavyweight Pepsi-Cola scored the most media impressions of campaigns tracked by SPINdex. The 36 news stories referencing Pepsi ads generated 22,672 words of copy and 2.5 minutes of network TV news coverage during the one-month period leading up to this column.

One commercial that didn't air in the game also received some coverage. Perennial Super Bowl advertiser Master Lock Co. generated eight stories and a SPINdex of 83 just by sitting out this year.

SPINdex asked Medialink's PR Data division to calculate the paid media equivalency for the Super Bowl hype spectrum. PR Data estimated the ad value of Master Lock's no-ad coverage at $177,929, while media coverage of Pepsi's aggressive presence would have cost $583,766.

Those dollar values do not represent all media coverage, just those generated in the SPINdex sample.

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