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Super Bowl ads: Movies show up but don't leave biggest impression

This year's crop of movie trailers airing during the Super Bowl featured such memorable sights as a sword-wielding robot riding a mechanical dinosaur, a flood of truly biblical proportions and a web-slinging superhero battling an electricity-powered menace.

In spite of all that spectacle, no movie trailers ranked among the big game's 10 most popular commercials, according to separate reports from TiVo Research and Analytics and USA Today.

Only one movie-related commercial managed to crack TiVo's top 10: Toyota's Highlander commercial, which featured actor and former NFL player Terry Crews as well as members of the Muppets, the latter of whom will return to this big screen this year in Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted."

The Crews and Muppets spot ranked 21st on USA Today's Super Bowl Ad Meter, making it the most popular movie-related ad on that list as well.

GRAPHIC: Best Super Bowl ads

On the two lists, the top spots were ruled by beer, snack and tech companies, including Budweiser, Doritos, GoDaddy (on TiVo's list) and Microsoft (on USA Today's).

Despite the mass appeal of Hollywood blockbusters, a dearth of movie trailers among the Super Bowl's top commercials is "definitely not abnormal," said Steve Wymer, vice president of corporate communications at TiVo. He added, "Pepsi and Doritos and Taco Bell dominate the space because of humor, and GoDaddy makes a splash now and again because of salacious ads." (Or the reverse: This year, GoDaddy's ads seemed deliberately non-salacious.)

Wymer speculated that movie ads might be more prominent and more popular on Super Bowl Sunday if the game took place closer to the summer movie season. If the Super Bowl was held right before summer-blockbuster season, he said, you'd see a different story.

That movie trailers don't tend to make a big splash during the Super Bowl doesn't mean that TV audiences usually ignore them, however. Wymer said the company's data shows that DVR users avoid most ads. "But the one ad that they choose intentionally not to avoid is movie trailers," he said. "It's the most popularly viewed ad."

As for Super Bowl Sunday, he said, "It is a quirky anomaly, for sure."


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