Credit: Matt Williams

On Sunday night, the Wharton School’s Future of Advertising Program hosted its own version of a Super Bowl party.

Throughout the Giants-Patriots game, the program held its second annual Tweet Meet, which featured Wharton faculty, students and experts from a variety of industries who critiqued this year’s batch of Super Bowl commercials via Twitter.

Catharine Hays, managing director of the FoA Program, described the Tweet Meet as a social and academic event.

“We’re really trying to marry academic rigor with industry experience and expertise,” she said.

This year’s Tweet Meet included a new rating system to determine the best commercials of the Super Bowl. A panel consisting of Wharton professors and experts in advertising judged the commercials based on four criteria: word of mouth, creative excellence, business impact and societal impact.

This year, Chrysler’s “Halftime in America” commercial — which featured actor and director Clint Eastwood — took the crown, coming in first place in all four categories. The panel announced the competition results on Monday.

Doritos and Acura also received favorable reviews from the panelists.

Doritos’ “Sling Baby” commercial placed second in the overall and business impact categories, and Acura’s “Transactions” commericial — which featured comedian Jerry Seinfeld — placed second in the word-of-mouth category.

Wharton sophomore Evan Rosenbaum, chief technology officer of the FoA program, highlighted the multifaceted nature of advertising.

“It’s great to be able to see advertising broken down to an empirical level,” said Rosenbaum, who helped moderate the Tweet Meet. He added that it was “interesting to carry a conversation with a diverse group of people.”

Wharton junior Hailey Weiss, who has worked with the FoA program for the past few years and is currently a research assistant, also contributed to this year’s Tweet Meet.

“I’m pretty familiar with commercials, agencies and companies,” she said. “My role was to help add to the conversation by citing research and seeing why certain companies do certain things in their ads.”

Among the many commercials that made their debut during this year’s Super Bowl, Volkswagen’s commercial featuring a golden retriever attempting to lose weight was a particular favorite among Penn students.

“I really liked the Volkswagen commercial because it was cute and funny,” Nursing freshman Cindy Wee said.

The National Football League’s own commercial depicting the evolution of football over time was also a popular choice among students.

“It was a really cool montage that made you appreciate the sport in general,” College freshman Josh Erban said. “It was neat to have a clip from the game in the actual ad you were watching.”

For some students, like Weiss, gaining insight into how advertising professionals viewed the commercials was one of the highlights of the Tweet Meet.

“Getting to see what professionals make of these ads was great,” she said.

Likewise, Hays said the most rewarding aspect of the Tweet Meet each year is “doing something that inspires others to really create a platform for people who are motivated and interested in thinking broadly and expressing their opinions.”

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