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Super Bowl Ads: Which Brands Created Social Buzz?

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Among 255,431 social media conversations focused on Super Bowl ads, Volkswagen, Doritos, Pepsi, Groupon, and Motorola were the top 5 advertisers, garnering the most social media mentions from December 1, 2010 to February 6, 2011, according to a study by Alterian. Microblogs, (e.g., Twitter) were the top media source, comprising more than two-thirds of such conversations.

Among 35 advertisers, the top 5 brands, ranked by volume of Super Bowl ad-related social media mentions from Dec 1, 2010 to Feb 6, 2011:

  1. Volkswagen had the highest number of social conversations (10,342) and highest percentage of positive "Sentiment" (22.03%). The automaker also had the lowest percentage of negative Sentiment (3.04%).
  2. Doritos ranked second, both in levels of of mentions (9,898) and positive Sentiment (19.76%).
  3. Pepsi garnered 8,282 mentions, of which 17.68% were positive.
  4. Groupon, which ran an ad referencing the struggles of the Tibetan people, garnered the most negative Sentiment (12.96%) among the top 5 brands.
  5. Motorola rounded out the top 5 with 6,485 social mentions, of which 10.60% were positive.

Below, other findings from Alterian's report, Buzz Bowl 2011, which measures social engagement of Super Bowl advertisers.

Pepsi Led in Social Media Reach


While Sentiment measures numbers of social media mentions, the Social Engagement Index* factors in additionally the reach of those mentions. Pepsi ranked highest (272), followed by Volkswagen (220) and Doritos (203).


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Below, a list of Super Bowl advertisers, ranked by Social Engagement Index scores:

Top Media Sources**

More than two-thirds of Super Bowl ad conversations (67.75%) were conducted via microblogs (e.g., Twitter)—roughly 173,602 social mentions. Social networks (e.g., Facebook) (8.59%) and blogs (4.61%) comprised for far fewer conversations.

* Alterian's Social Engagement Index measures both the volume and potential reach of ad-related conversations using a popularity metric (0 to 10) to indicate the reach potential of mentions, with higher values indicating a higher popularity of the individual making the comment. For example, in order for a Twitter post to score a "10," an individual would have to have more than 5,000 followers. The index is calculated by summing the popularity scores for each conversation for each advertiser, and then indexing the popularity score against the average popularity of all advertisers. A score of 100 would indicate the average Super Bowl advertiser.

** Results were collected from publicly available social media sources—i.e., results from private Facebook pages and other private networks were not included in the analysis.

About the data: Findings are from 255,431 social conversations tracked from December 1, 20101 to Feb 6, 2011.


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  • by slashby Tue Feb 8, 2011 via web

    I'm surprised at how small the total number of mentions are, and it included the whole month of December. VW with just over 10k??? Since obviously there is a lot more consumption than creation Reach is very interesting but we don't get any total numbers, just the index. Still doesn't feel like much for one of the biggest events of the year. Anyone see it differently???

  • by Glenn Cressman Tue Feb 8, 2011 via web

    I am not surprised by the negative responses to the Groupon spot. I just don't understand the logic behind drawing attention to the plight of a culture, only to blatantly ignore it for greed's sake... and to advertise that! This fits into the "what were they thinking?!" category in my book. And please don't anyone tell me that they intentionally did it that way to create buzz (the 'any PR is good PR' theory) - I'm not buying it.

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