Right or left brain thinker

Does it make a difference when it comes to Superbowl ads?

Whether you’re a Seahawks fan or a Patriots diehard, this year’s Super Bowl was as much about the commercials as it was the game. And with $4.5 million the current cost to air a 30 second spot, marketers were betting on a lot of hype not only during and after the game, but also before with advance showings on YouTube and popular shows like Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon and Good Morning America.

As a marketer and not much of a football fan (except for Cardale Jones), I look forward to the commercials during the big game. But I’ve also grown weary of the predictable recap: best and worst commercials, funniest, strangest, etc.


So I decided to mix things up this year and conduct my own survey. I’ve always wondered: “when it comes to Super Bowl ads, do right brain thinkers view them differently than left brain thinkers?”

In case you forgot…

Left Brain Right Brain
Random Logical
Intuitive Sequential
Holistic Rational
Synthesizing Analytical
Subjective Objective
Looks at Whole Looks at Parts

I asked friends and family their opinions on six Super Bowl commercials. I only surveyed the people I knew to be primarily left or right brain thinkers and posed these three questions:

  1. On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being most influential) to what degree did the commercial influence your impression of the product or company?
  2. If it were up to you, would you have aired this commercial?
  3. Did you learn anything useful from the commercial?

to these six commercials:

And the conclusion after reviewing the survey results and searching for patterns…Right or left-brain thinker – doesn’t make a difference when it comes to the Super Bowl ads. The two types of thinkers do not view the ads differently.

  • Only one person didn’t learn something useful from the WeatherTech commercial.
  • No one learned anything useful from the Doritos or Skittles commercials.
  • BMW commercial received the most “Yes’” from both right and left brain thinkers when asked “if it was up to you, would you have aired this commercial?”
  • Two people said they wouldn’t air the BMW commercial – one right and one left-brain thinker.
  • The BMW commercial also received the most 5’s on influencing your impression of the product or company. Again the response was split between left and right brain.
  • Skittles was the only commercial with the majority of the voters saying that they “would not air” the commercial. The no’s came equally from right and left brainers.

Possibly a more scientific study would have revealed different results, but for now, my right brain, left brain super bowl commercial curiosity is satisfied.

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1 Comment
  1. Great post, couldn’t agree more that the reflections on these super Ads are typically pretty shallow. Having said that, as a (mostly) right brainer, I found the results of your survey interesting, especially the ‘would not air’ results for Skittles. Since I only like yellow and orange candies this one resonated with me, and the singular muscular arms made me laugh out loud. Especially the baby. This one got my vote. Maybe that means I’m really a middle-brainer. I’ll have to ask my teenagers. 🙂

    Comment by Sheila Miklos — February 2, 2015 — 4:30 pm

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