Walken and Timberlake a hit with TV viewers in Super Bowl ad sweepstakes

A quirky commercial featuring Christopher Walken and Justin Timberlake scored big with viewers, becoming the underdog winner in the Super Bowl advertising sweepstakes Sunday.

Bai Brands’ 30-second spot for its beverage line featured Walken dramatically delivering the lyrics from “Bye Bye Bye,” the hit song in 2000 from ’N Sync. Walken turns to band alum Timberlake, in a smoking jacket, who seemingly acknowledged his approval.

Bai’s advertisement was this year’s fan favorite, according to TiVo, which analyzed video streams to determine which commercial had the best engagement among viewers. The company’s measurement tools search for bumps in viewership to determine how many people rewind the program to re-watch ads.

Bai said it brought Timberlake into the company last November as a corporate advisor — chief flavor officer. The spot was developed by Bai’s in-house creative team led by the company’s chief creative officer, Chad Portas. It was the second year that Bai advertised in the Super Bowl.


Several other commercials, produced by Southern California advertising agencies, scored well in the TiVo rankings, which were released Monday.

South Korean auto company Kia’s 60-second spot “Hero’s Journey,” featuring Melissa McCarthy, ranked second. The commercial was created by the David & Goliath advertising agency in El Segundo (which, incidentally had used Walken in Kia’s ad last year).

Honda’s ad, “Yearbooks,” which showed real-life school photos of celebrities, including Magic Johnson, Steve Carell, Tina Fey and Jimmy Kimmel, landed in the top five. The ad was created by the RPA ad agency in Santa Monica.

Wonderful Co.’s 15-second Ernie the Elephant commercial, “Ernie Gets Physical,” developed by the Wonderful Agency in Los Angeles, rounded out the top 10.


Here are TiVo’s rankings:

1. Bai Brands — “BaiBaiBai”

2. Kia — “Hero’s Journey”

3. It’s 10 Haircare — “It’s a 10 Haircare”


4. T-Mobile — “#BagofUnlimited” with Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart

5. Honda — “Yearbooks”

6. Anheuser-Busch — “Born the Hard Way”

7. Paramount Pictures — Trailer for “Transformers: The Last Knight”


8. General Motors — “If That’s a Buick”

9. Disney — Trailer for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”

10. Wonderful Company — “Ernie Gets Physical”

For the seventh consecutive year, TiVo reported that viewership for the halftime show, this time featuring Lady Gaga, exceeded that of the overall football game. Her performance ended with this year’s top moment of the broadcast, including her dramatic and literal mic drop and jump off the stage.


Twitter: @MegJamesLAT