The always controversial USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter, which has been tracking Super Bowl ads since 1989, is changing things up again. After a brief partnership with Facebook, which will end this year, the Ad meter will drop its live panels and shift the poll completely online.
USA Today will invite consumers across America to sign up to vote on a microsite. The number of participants will not be limited, a far cry from the 300 or so number of panelists in just two physical locations upon which the poll has traditionally based its results.
Additionally, the poll will now include commercials aired during half-time as well as track pre-game sentiment and commentary on ads release prior to the game.
Of the Ad Meter’s changes, USA Today President and Publisher said, “Everyone accuses the ad industry of doing beautiful ads for themselves and not selling widgets. This is something in between. It won’t tell you whether it will sell new widgets which you’ll get soon enough but it doesn’t tell you what the industry thinks, which might reflect how hard it was to do and things like that. This represents the view of consumers, who don’t care what went into pulling it off. So you can really see if it accomplished at least part of the goal, which is to engage potential customers.”