My friends and I gathered about the HDTV this weekend to watch the awesome display of muscle that are the most expensive ad slots available today. At the conclusion of past superbowls, we would debate long into the night. Intoxicated on Henry Weinhard's Root Beer, we would become cavemen arguing over which animal sold beer better: clydesdales, frogs, or Bob Uecker. Never before could we arrive on an objective victor. That was, until we used our mad nerd skillz to quantify the debate.

This year, we gathered a naggle of nerds and their spouses for an informal, if not entirely insufficiently sample sized, poll. Our unstated hope was that the spouses, being mostly normal, (evidenced by how little each of our spouses like the nerds they aren't married to), would add some credence to the proceedings.

The rules for our dataset were:

  1. Commercials are rated on a 0-10 scale; zero being the least 'good' ad and ten being the most 'good' ad.
  2. 'Good' is subjectively defined by anyone however they want to define it. That is, if someone defines good to be 'most humorous' or 'most effective', that's they're perogative.
  3. You can not alter previous votes based on how bad or good the subsequent commercials are. If you gave the first commerical a 10 and something better comes along, you're stuck giving both a 10. Similarly, if you give some god-awful IZOD nonsense a zero, you can not later change it to a one because some later Sheryl Crow nonsense was more god-awfulish.
  4. The 'winner' and 'loser' ad will be decided by a simple average of all votes.

There is some bias in this 'study' in that people had to vote aloud after each commercial break. Next year we plan to remove this condition by placing each nerd in a "My Little Pony" themed deprivation tank, (yes, it will be inside of a Faraday cage to prevent WiFi access).

This morning, I took all of our compiled data and used it to create a comparison to 'normal' by matching it against the USAToday Ad Meter stats.

Without further attempts at lame British humuor, here's some notable observations:

  1. Nerds (and their spouses) are harsh critics. On average we rated everything 2.5 lower than normal people.
  2. Nobody likes telemarketers - lowest ad in both our data and USAToday's. (I'm not going to mention them - See #25 here.)
  3. Normal people love animal ads (7.9 avg), nerds don't (4.6 avg).
  4. Not unexpected, but nerds like to watch women partying (the GoDaddy ad got a 5.2) and their spouses don't (1.0).
  5. Nerds laugh at absurdist Godzilla inspired nonsense (the Garmin GPS ad got a 6) and normal people don't (4.3)
  6. Normal men can grow facial hair and nerds are jealous. (Schick ad got a 6.9 from normal people and a 1.5 from the naggle)

I've included our full dataset below for the two people who are interested.

Next year, I think we need to include a couple nerdettes - both so we can get the female nerd vote AND the male spouse vote, (and, honestly, so that those guys can explain football to us. It'd be nice to watch a game and know what the hell a nickel package is... sounds drug related to me...)

 - Tony

 DATA TABLE (Names removed to protect the innocent, (but some linked in to identify the follied)):

Tony (That's Me!) - Spouse Z - Nerd A - Nerd B - Nerd C - Spouse D - Nerd D - Spouse C