The use of ultrasonic excitation of tools and dies in metal forming operations has been the subject of ongoing research for many years. However, the lack of understanding about the effects of ultrasonic vibrations on the forming process has resulted in difficulties in maximising the benefits and applications of this technology. In particular, experimental characterisations of the effects of superimposing ultrasonic oscillations have largely relied on interpretations of measurements of the mean forming load and have ignored the oscillatory forces. Previous research  has shown that by applying ultrasonic vibrations to the lower platen in compression tests on pure aluminium specimens, the resulting stress-strain relationship can be characterised by a temporary effective softening of the material during intervals of ultrasonic excitation. The current research investigates this effect in a series of simple forming tests using a number of different metal specimens. In this research, the forming tests are conducted using a piezoelectric force transducer to measure the oscillatory force data during ultrasonic excitation of the die. It is shown that the benefits of superimposing ultrasonic excitation of the die are highly dependent on the material being formed and that, in many cases, the maximum oscillatory force exceeds the static forming load even where the mean forming load is reduced significantly during the interval of ultrasonic excitation.