Victoria's Secret Tops Nielsen Bowl Ratings

NEW YORK The highest rated commercial in Sunday’s down-to-the-wire Super Bowl battle was an ad for Victoria’s Secret, according to Nielsen analysis released today.

The spot was seen by 103.7 million people at 9:44 p.m., near the dramatic conclusion to the game, which aired on Fox. (Viewing numbers provided are based on live plus same day DVR playback viewing.) The average audience throughout the game was a record-setting 97.5 million people in the U.S.

This year’s Super Bowl outcome was decided in the last minute of play and the fourth quarter was the best time for advertisers to be in the contest, at least from a size-of-audience standpoint. Nielsen reports that the top 10 highest rated commercials all exceeded 100 million viewers and all aired after 9 p.m.

The most played-back spot of the game was a Disney ad for the upcoming movie Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, which was viewed by 4.1 million on DVR playback, the ratings company said.

The most buzzed about ad online (per Nielsen BuzzMetrics) was Pepsi’s spot with Justin Timberlake, depicting the pop star’s “magnetic” appeal, accounting for 6.7 percent of Super Bowl online discussion on Sunday. Among Super Bowl advertisers, the fastest-growing Web site was Fox Interactive Media’s, which more than doubled its usual traffic with 900,000 unique visitors.

This year’s Super Bowl aired 50 minutes and 50 seconds of commercial time, including Fox program promos, Nielsen said. Fifty-two unique brands aired commercials for a total of 84 advertisements.

There was a tie for the second-highest rated spot of the game, between an ad for Pespi’s Amp energy drink (man clamps battery cables to his nipples) and a promo for Fox’s American Idol. Those spots aired in succession right after the Victoria’s Secret spot at 9:45 p.m., and garnered an audience of 103.6 million viewers.

E-Trade’s talking baby/clown spot was the fourth most viewed spot of the night, airing at 9:20 p.m. and collecting an audience of 103 million viewers. Back-to-back commercials that ran at 9:26 p.m. — the Bud Light spot with Will Ferrell and a Hyundai Genesis ad — tied for fifth, both seen by 101.5 million viewers.

After Narnia, the most played-back spot was an American Idol promo at 7:39 p.m. (4,069,000). Placing third was a Sobe Life Water spot (dancing lizards) at 7:24 p.m (4,049,000).