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The Numbers: Super Bowl Ads, Social Media

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Among the 38 brands that ran TV commercials during the Super Bowl this year, 75% reported twice as many blog posts about their brands on Sunday, compared with levels on Sunday evenings over the previous six months, reports Radio Business Report, citing research from Prophesee, the social media arm of Interpublic Group's Initiative unit.

More than 30% of Super Bowl advertisers generated a threefold increase in the number of blog posts about them.

Below, additional findings from Prophesee.

Flo TV, a first-time advertiser in the NFL finals, experienced a spike of 50 times the number of blog posts it usually generates, the highest for any advertiser during this year's event.

Other advertisers that registered large increases in blog activity on Super Bowl Sunday:

  • Doritos: 13 times the level of activity
  • Vizio: 7 times
  • Hyundai: 4 times
  • Kia and Budweiser: 3 times

In addition to increases in the volume of posts written about them, some advertisers experienced increases in sentiment levels: Overall, positive sentiment toward Super Bowl advertisers increased 4 percentage points to an average 56% on social media platforms,  compared with the 52% average of the past six months.


Nearly three-quarters of social media posts about Vizio during the Super Bowl were favorable: Positive sentiment toward Vizio rose 50 points to 70%, the highest uplift recorded.
The top 3 Super Bowl ads ranked by blog post volume:

  • Snickers' celebrity-endorsed spot was the ad most blogged about, receiving 281 posts.
  • Vizio's ad, which introduced Beyonce as the face of Vizio, came in second with 203 posts.
  • Hyundai's ad featuring Brett Favre came third with 126 posts.

Vizio's ad was most positively received among celebrity-endorsed spots, with 73% of all posts expressing positive sentiment.  Kia's casting of the puppets from Yo Gabba Gabba to launch the Sorento came in a close second, with 68% positive sentiment.

Overall, blog posts about the Super Bowl increased sharply from 15,702 in 2009 to 25,725 this year. The posts were made across 57 countries––from Afghanistan to Venezuela––compared with 42 countries last year. However, 81% of all posts originated from the US.

Over 3,600 of the posts were specifically about the advertising.

An estimated 720,000 Super Bowl-related tweets were initiated this year, and Coca-Cola added over 250,000 Facebook fans over the course of the Super Bowl weekend, according to Prophesee.


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Social Engagement Winners and Losers

In another analysis, Networked insights determined the "social ROI" and "daily interaction increase" of the top 10 and bottom 10 Super Bowl advertisers, comparing pre- (Jan. 1 - Feb. 6) and post- (Feb. 7-9) Super Bowl period daily averages.

The biggest winners were Teleflora, Volkswagen, and Focus on the Family, while the biggest losers were Motorola, Intel, and Taco Bell, according to the Networked Insights data:

"Daily interaction increase" compares the pre- and post- Super Bowl time periods using an engagement metric that takes into account not only posts with brand mentions but also reads, click-through rates, comments, as well as author influence.

"Social ROI" refers to the engagement increase (or decrease) per the estimated amount spent on Super Bowl ads, essentially showing the change in engagement per million dollars spent.

Super Bowl Sunday Minute-by-Minute Tweets

Although many Super Bowl viewers watch just for football, others tune in just for commercials. To better understand viewer behavior, Twitter conducted an analysis of Sunday's tweet behavior.
Incoming tweets were categorized as game-related, brand-related, or neither. The following graph represents the minute-by-minute tweet activity during the game:


(The horizontal axis represents time, and the vertical axis is tweet level: the blue line is the percentage of tweets, relative to the total worldwide tweet volume, that were about the Super Bowl each minute, while the red line is the percentage of tweets that were about brands or commercials.)

See a more detailed version of the graph.

Below, the Twitter minute-by-minute:

  • At the kickoff, the excitement for the game spiked (A), with a high volume of game-related tweets.
  • Soon after, viewers were geared up for the first commercial break (B) triggering brand-related tweets.
  • As soon as the first commercial break began, viewers were immediately tweeting about it. The first Doritos ad (C) caused the largest per-minute volume of commercial-related tweets: For the minute following the ad, related tweets were 19% of all tweets, eclipsing even the chatter around the Super Bowl itself for a brief period.
  • At the first Colts touchdown (D) excited or dismayed game-related tweets formed nearly 40% of all tweets that minute.
  • The second half began with a bang as the Saints recovered a surprise onside kick, and for the next minute 44% of all worldwide tweets were about football (K).
  • Chatter about brands fell to much lower levels until Google's Parisian love ad sparked commercial-related tweets once more (O).
  • Excitement around the game grew steadily, with large peaks following scores and turnovers until the final moments.
  • As the game ended (T), one out of two tweets on Twitter was about the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Ads: Budweiser and ETrade the Viewers' Choice

Budweiser and ETrade each sponsored two of the top 10 most popular ads aired on CBS during Super Bowl XLIV, according to a survey from MediaCurves.

Budweiser's Bull ad was the most popular ad of the evening, receiving a score of 72.78, a metric created by MediaCurves, and its Bridge Out ad ranked No. 6 (65.45).

ETrade's Baby in Airplane ad ranked No. 7 (65.37) among the top 10, and its Wolf Style ad ranked No. 10 (64.08).

Below, the top 10 Super Bowl ads:

  • Budweiser––Bull (72.78)
  • Snickers––Betty White (70.95)
  • Denny’s––Free Grand Slam (67.12)
  • Doritos––Hands Off (66.82)
  • FLO TV––Generation (66.03)
  • Budweiser ––Bridge Out (65.45)
  • ETrade––Baby in Airplane (65.37)
  • Intel––Smart Computing (65.17)
  • Google––Search On (64.56)
  • ETrade––Wolf Style (64.08)

About the data: The rating of the top 10 Super Bowl ads was conducted by MediaCurves via online survey sent to thousands of participants on Super Bowl Sunday.

The survey of social media activity generated by the Super Bowl was conducted by Intiative's specialist social media strategy and activation unit Prophesee.

Networked Insights used its listening platform, SocialSense, to generate the social-engagement data. The SaaS platform was used to track ideas and conversations throughout social networks about the ads. In the case of Pepsi, Networked Insights substituted the estimated spend on the company's social media campaign.


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