According to estimates, the cost to purchase a 30-second time slot during this year’s Super Bowl is $4 million. In case you’re wondering, that works out to $133,000 per second. Yowza! That’s easily the most expensive second of airtime ever and underlines how important every second of every Super Bowl ad is–not only from an investment standpoint but from an impact standpoint as well. The buzz and scrutiny around the Super Bowl ads grows every year and typically, it’s one defining second during the ad that makes the difference between boom or bust, memorable or forgettable.

Budweiser Super Bowl "Brotherhood" ad

Super Second? This second from last year’s Budweiser “Brotherhood” ad during the Super Bowl received the highest peak score during our Slidermetrix testing. Several other rating services later scored the ad as the most popular.

It’s those “Super Seconds” that drive the intrigue around the Slidermetrix testing we do with regard to the Super Bowl ads. Using Slidermetrix, a viewer is asked to continuously rate what they are watching second-by-second. So, in the case of a Super Bowl ad, we get a real-time, second-by-second snapshot of each viewer’s opinion, providing a different and deeper perspective than what you get from other types of ratings (like star or thumbs up/down).

This method is similar to the Moment-to-Moment dial testing we do for advertising and media researchers who use their data for placement and programming decisions as well as content direction. While Slidermetrix testing is typically unscientific, since the videos are housed on a public website, the results are nonetheless fascinating. For example, last year’s Super Bowl ad testing of almost 7,500 viewers revealed the highest peak ad second and lowest peak ad second amongst all viewers as well as for males and females. In some cases (like in the Budweiser Clydesdale “Brotherhood” ad), the high peaks corresponded with high overall ratings for the ad. But in other cases (like in the Calvin Klein “Concept” ad), a higher peak rating amongst females wasn’t reflected in the ad’s low overall rating. See highlights from last year’s Slidermetrix results here.

Slidermetrix report shows second-by-second rating of Calvin Klein's Super Bowl ad

The large gap between male and female respondents for last year’s Calvin Klein Super Bowl ad can be seen here. The higher female peaks didn’t translate to a higher overall score.

With the next crop of Super Bowl ads on their way, Slidermetrix will be working with a new media partner and gathering feedback again by the second. Which seconds will be super and which will not? Stay tuned.