Volkswagen Marches Ahead as ADBOWL® Voters’ Favorite Super Bowl XLV Commercial

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Volkswagen’s Imperial March for the Passat was voted consumers’ favorite advertisement during Super Bowl XLV according to ADBOWL® (, the original advertising ranking website and iPhone App developed by McKee Wallwork Cleveland.

As of 12 am EST*, ADBOWL® voters rated these top five ads:

Volkswagen — The Imperial March

Bridgestone — Carma

Doritos — House Sitting

NFL — Sitcoms

Volkswagen — Black Beetle

*Voting continues through the night. Up-to-date tallies are available at , including gender and age variations.

“This year we saw more commercials appealing to emotions other than humor,” said Bart Cleveland, creative director at McKee Wallwork Cleveland — the agency that launched 11 years ago. “Good examples are the pride of a city in Chrysler’s ad and the nostalgia of the NFL spot. Brands stepping away from a proven formula of humor show that standing apart can be accomplished while still entertaining viewers.

“These emotionally based ads could be a sign of a return to the style of dramatic spot, such as Macintosh’s ‘1984,’ the commercial that started the Super Bowl commercial phenomenon,” continued Cleveland. “For me, the test of a real ADBOWL® winner comes well after it first airs. Jokes are fun, but as the spots wane from memory, the ones that cling are those that touched me in a more meaningful way.”

Strong story lines such as Volkswagens Darth Vader in “Imperial March” and Bridgestone’s hip beaver in “Carma” also strongly resonated with viewers. They brought a warmth to the ADBOWL® contenders — a role traditionally filled by Clydesdales and cute kids.

ADBOWL®’s Twitter stream was abuzz with voters’ real time evaluations of commercials. There were well over 11,000 registered voters by day’s end. Almost half that number had downloaded the ADBOWL® iPhone app in advance of the game.

“There’s no magic ball by which to gauge which brands will walk away winners,” says Steve McKee, president of MWC. “I believe this year’s winners benefitted from a new sensibility of allowing consumers to be ‘in the know’ thanks to advance buzz-building and social media.”

During and after the game, viewers went to and the iPhone App to rate the commercials on a scale between one and five, one being a “fumble” and five — a “touchdown.” A complete listing of results from tonight’s game, as well as all winners in all categories dating back to 2002, can be found at

About McKee Wallwork Cleveland

McKee Wallwork Cleveland is an integrated marketing firm that specializes in working with stuck, stalled or stale brands. Founded in 1997, the agency earned a spot on the 2002 Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation, is a two-time EFFIE Award winner and in 2009 was recognized by Advertising Age as one of ten top small agencies in America.

ADBOWL® is a registered trademark of McKee Wallwork Cleveland, LLC

Watch Volkswagen ads below.