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Find every commercial ever aired during the Big Game with Algolia SuperSearch

Feb 4th 2016 ecommerce

Find every commercial ever aired during the Big Game with Algolia SuperSearch

Algolia HQ is in San Francisco, so it’s been pretty impossible to escape the Super Bowl mania sweeping the city. (If only they also actually swept the city.)

Once we got over our slight annoyance with all the street closures because of the Super Bowl Village they built two blocks from our office (40 miles away from the actual Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium), we realized that we’re actually pretty excited for this weekend’s game for two reasons:

1. Neither of the teams playing is the Patriots!


If we’re being completely honest here, Super Bowl party snacks came in at a close third.

When we started talking about commercials from years past and trying to share them with one another, we realized it wasn’t easy to find Super Bowl commercials. This is a huge bummer if you’re anything like me and want to watch every commercial those majestic Clydesdales have ever been in.

So we started thinking…and hacking. Why can’t we just make all the Super Bowl ads that ever aired searchable with Algolia? Everyone was onboard almost immediately once we explained that in order to search the data set, we would need to tag the data set…yes, we will pay you to watch YouTube.

We won’t admit how much time we’ve now wasted showing each other “the one with the flying baby” or “the one with Will Ferrell in that stupid outfit,” but we can tell you that actually building and implementing the search for this demo took us less than a day. This is how we did it:

1. Scouted the interwebs to find the best archive of existing Super Bowl ads (found on YouTube).
2. Ensured data searchability and homogeneity—all ads must include Title, Brand, Year and Super Bowl edition.
3. Pulled custom ranking data for the ads such as number of likes, number of views, etc.
4. Enriched the existing data set with video content tagging.
5. Designed and built the UI with instantsearch.js widgets.

And voilà—SuperSearch.

Algolia SuperSearch

We’re going to add this year’s commercials in as close to real time as possible and have already included a few that were pre-released. (Let’s not talk about puppymonkeybaby.)

We really hope you enjoy SuperSearch as much as we’ve enjoyed building it. Have a look for some of your favorite commercials, and don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us which ones you like (and don’t like).

Go to SuperSearch

About the author
Guillaume Dumortier

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