Super Bowl advertisers see huge surge in social media posts


Advertisers that bought spots in this year’s NFL Super Bowl saw a massive surge in social media activity relating directly to their brands, according to research conducted by Initiative.

Of the 38 brands that ran ads during the commercial breaks, 75% saw the number of blog posts about them double, compared with the same evening over the past six months. More than 30% of advertisers in the Super Bowl saw a threefold rise in the number of blog posts about them, and Flo TV – a first-time advertiser in the NFL finals – experienced a spike of 50 times the number of blog posts it would usually enjoy, the highest for any advertiser during this year’s event. Doritos saw the level of buzz increase by 13 times, Vizio by seven times, Hyundai rose by fourfold and Kia and Budweiser both experienced threefold hikes.

The survey of social media activity generated by the Super Bowl was conducted by Intiative’s specialist social media strategy and activation unit Prophesee. Using social media analytics software, Prophesee assessed the volume of posts and their sentiment, classified according to positive, negative or neutral.

There was a 4% increase in the level of positive sentiment expressed about the Super Bowl advertisers on social media platforms compared with the average of the past six months, up from 52% to 56%. Vizio saw the highest uplift in sentiment, rising by an impressive 20% to 70%. This means that, nearly three quarters of all the social media posts about Vizio during Super Bowl were positive.

According to the Prophesee study, Snickers’ commercial was the most blogged about celebrity-endorsed spot during the Super Bowl, with 281 posts. Vizio’s spot – the first outing for Beyonce as the face of Vizio – came second with 203 posts, and Hyundai’s ad featuring Brett Favre came third with 126 posts. Vizio’s ad was the best received of all the celebrity-endorsed spots, with 73% of all posts about this spot expressing positive sentiment. Kia’s casting of the puppets from Yo Gabba Gabba to launch the Sorento, saw its spot come 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. Over 3600 of the posts were specifically about the advertising. Not surprisingly, a hefty 81% of all the posts were made in the US.

While posts on message boards and forums showed a drop of 63% year-on-year, Twitter experienced an enormous amount Super Bowl related activity this year. Prophesee estimates that there were over 720,000 tweets about this year’s Super Bowl, reflecting both the phenomenal growth and power of this social media platform. Facebook – arguably the most established social media brand – also enjoyed considerable activity during Super Bowl. Coca-Cola added over 250,000 Facebook fans over the course of the Super Bowl weekend.

Said Tim Spengler, President, North America, Initiative: “The Prophesee Super Bowl Survey shows that the real power of Super Bowl advertising is when TV and online work together.  The days of one “masterlock” spot in the Big Game as the only media play are long gone.  Advertisers now need to pursue a multiplatform strategy to remain relevant to consumers.”