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What we’ve learned from the Super Bowl

Today, America’s biggest sports event is much more than the battle between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. With millions of people watching the game on television, the Super Bowl is thè opportunity for advertisers to create buzz and gain valuable brand recognition. In order to increase their reach, engage their audience and spark conversation, brands are taking the advertising battle to social media. With more than 28 million tweets and 65 million people on Facebook talking about the Super Bowl, Halftime Show and the commercials, the Super Bowl trended more on social media now than ever before.

So what’s in it for you? What are the most important takeaways to incorporate into your social media strategy?

Hashtags to continue the conversation

With companies paying up to $4.5 million for a 30 second TV-commercial, stakes are high for the brands to share their message with an astronomically large audience. In order to increase their reach, half of the 66 commercials shown during the Super Bowl featured a hashtag to carry the discussion into the digital space. Hashtags encouraging viewers to bring the conversation online in an organized format, making it easier for everyone to join the conversation. Whereas before, people remembered brands because of their tagline, today brands are remembered by their hashtags. A personalized hashtag creates brand equity and allows the audience to start a conversation, ultimately increasing your brand awareness.

Facebook is the ultimate winner

Most of the online conversation about the Super Bowl took place on Facebook. According to the social network, over 65 million people joined the conversation on Facebook worldwide. With 265 million posts, comments and likes, this year’s matchup drove the highest level of conversation Facebook has measured for any previous Super Bowl. The most talked-about moment was the New England Patriots victory, with 1.36 million people per minute talking about their big win. But as we all know, many people also watch the Super Bowl for the HalStime show; 1.02 million people per minute were talking about Katy Perry’s Firework finale. With Facebook putting an end to their organic reach, advertisers find it more and more difficult to reach their target audience. These numbers, however, prove that brands should not move away from Facebook, but instead have to find other, less profit focused ways to get to their Facebook audience.

Bud won the advertising game on social media

Budweiser, with their ad “Lost Dog”, won the USA TODAY’s Ad Meter, but also on social media it won the Super Bowl. The cute puppy-ad had the most shares across Facebook and Twitter, generated the most Twitter mentions (more then 197.800), and generated the top hasthtag (#bestbuds generated over 104 million impressions during the game). Also the “Like a Girl” ad for Always, Mcdonald’s “lovin”-themed campaign and Nationwide’s commercial were big winners. These commercials prove that simple and clear messages, with an awwww-moment, intended to start a conversation instead of selling a product, are (and will likely always) a big hit.

Real-time marketing is on the rise

31 companies, in the Interbrand 100, created and published content on Twitter during the game. Only 26 companies did this last year and just 8 in 2013. This emphasizes how social media is changing the way brands need to interact with their customers. Brands need to jump into the conversation their audience is having and use the strength of trending topics to get their message out there to the masses.


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