Super Bowl Ad Social Media Champs! Pepsi, VW, Chrysler & E*Trade Score
The results are in. For the game that really counts, for the teams who actually pay for the Super Bowl. Yes, we’re talking about the ad game that ticks away when the clock stops during the football game, the one that comes to life in creative ads that cost $100,000 a second to air them and has high powered executives biting their nails wondering “Is it worth it?”
No, we’re not talking about whether the critics gave the creative thumbs up or down. Forget subjectivity. We have the statistics that matter. The ones that tell you how the 38 corporate brands fared on Super Bowl Sunday, and who was able to capitalize on the record breaking audience of 111 million viewers and carry over their ads into increased brand interest and engagement.
We have the scores from the all-important digital playing field of social media and online marketing – the real truth about which advertisers really “won the web’.
And it’s all in ymarketing’s Super Bowl Social Brand Scoreboard Report.
The Coin Toss
At the beginning of every game there is a coin toss and a chance for teams to review the playing conditions. For the Super Bowl Social Brand Scoreboard, here are the markers that were evaluated for each of the brands that spent money on Super Bowl ads:
- Facebook likes/fans
- Twitter followers
- YouTube subscribers, video views and channel views
- Tweet volume
- Twitter mentions
- Google results for videos, news, blogs and discussions
- Social Mention in relation to strength, sentiment, passion and reach
We benchmarked these markers the Friday prior to the game so we could measure what changes occurred after.
First Quarter – Facebook
Traditionally, everyone watches the first quarter, and this past year, everyone has been watching Facebook.
More and more companies are placing a larger marketing emphasis on increasing their Facebook presence – and with just reason. With access to almost 600 million subscribers worldwide, with the looming influence of Facebook social email on the horizon, and with the knowledge that Facebook fans are more loyal customers and more likely to recommend products, brands want to increase their Facebook fans/likes.
Before the Super Bowl, there were some heavyweights in Facebook presence; Cola Coca-Cola with more than 22 million fans and Disney with more than 16 million. So when it comes to Facebook growth, it’s relative.
In terms of those companies that experienced the biggest percentage jump, the clear winners were PepsiMax and BMW (North America).
All other brands saw increases, but, nothing close to those two in terms of percentages. (In terms of numbers, Disney added another 119,000 fans Coca-Cola almost 85,000 and Pizza Hut more than 75,000.)
Second Quarter - Twitter
During the second quarter, the teams have settled into a rhythm that’s either working for them or not. It can be a fairly volatile period and momentum can shift quickly with an interception or a long touchdown pass. Pretty much like the activity on Twitter.
Twitter has surpassed the *190 million users mark and numbers of tweets during a day can surpass *50 million. What companies want out of Twitter are two things - more followers and more discussions about their brand (hopefully positive).
Following the Super Bowl, 5 brands enjoyed double digit percentage growth of followers. They moved the ten yard line markers steadily. But one company threw for long gains and that was E*Trade, with a whopping 151% increase in followers. GoDaddy with their push for .co, managed a sizable jump as well.
*Source: TechCrunch and Mashable 2010
The chatter for almost all of the brands that advertised was dramatically up the day of and after the Super Bowl. PepsiMax saw an increase of 16,019%, Chrysler 3,498%, Doritos 2,592%, CarMax 2,394% and Bridgestone 2,228%. What does that say? It could be that no one was talking about them the day before and that’s why the numbers are so ridiculous.
But that’s Twitter for you – one day you’re nobody, the next day you’re king and the next back to being forgotten. But regardless, it’s clear that advertising on the Super Bowl caused many people to discuss these brands. To put the impact of Super Bowl more in perspective, here is a chart that shows the percent of Sunday Twitter mentions in relation to the overall mentions during that week. You can see that the bulk of brand chatter happened during and after the Super Bowl.
Third Quarter - YouTube
When teams return for the third quarter, they’ve had a chance to discuss what needs to change in their game plan. The third quarter often tells you whether this will be a nail biter or a blow out, whether this game will be memorable and newsworthy or not. That's why YouTube views lead off the second half as it is the critical link for Super Bowl commercials and social media success.
Of all the social media outlets, YouTube has one of the closest correlations to the Super Bowl broadcast itself because it allows for repeated video views, ratings, comments and sharing. If we assume for the moment that each ad received an average 111 million viewership we can measure each Super Bowl commercial’s popularity and digital effectiveness through YouTube.
Case in point, Volkswagen’s Little Darth Vader commercial. Within 36 hours of its original airing the ad had 20+ million views on YouTube, 18,250+ comments, and nearly 100,000 ratings (98% likes). Or put another way, if Volkswagen received 111,000,000 viewers of its 60-second ad on the Super Bowl and YouTube added another 20,000,000+ views then the measured Social Media “lift” in viewerships on YouTube is at least 18%. Add to that the comments, ratings and other digital and social media avenues and the overall effectiveness of this ad becomes clearer.
Fourth Quarter – Social Mentions
The fourth quarter is where it ends. It’s where the passion and strength of the players are put to the final test. It determines whether they reach their ultimate goal – to win the Super Bowl.
Social Mention is an online service that offers real-time social media search and analysis in terms of strength, sentiment, passion and reach. Let’s look at reach first. This demonstrates the growth in reach among blogs, Q&A sites, Twitter, social bookmarking sites, images and news.
As could be hoped for by these brands, all but 11 increased their reach (Budweiser actually lost 10%. You can’t win them all). The number one brand that increased its reach was Bridgestone, and one has to wonder how much of their sponsorship of the half time show had to do with that. Here are the top 10 increases.
But reach is only part of the social media game. Passion and sentiment probably play an even more important role in social networks. When it comes to passion, most of the brands failed. Only 9 brands that advertised in the Super Bowl increased their level of passion (Focus Features "The Eagle", Kia, Cars.com, Stella Artois, Fox Movies "Rio", Doritos, Paramount Pictures, Bud Light, Budweiser). That’s not to say that people aren’t passionate about their brands. It just shows how much or how little these ads contributed to creating passion for a brand within social media.
Here are the top 10 increases in Passion.
Sentiment is evaluated by Social Mention in terms of three basic categories: positive, negative and neutral social media comments. This is shown as a ratio of mentions that are generally positive to those that are not. For example, Volkswagen’s Beetle had the highest ratio after the Super Bowl at 69:1 – that’s 69 good social media comments compared to one bad one. But when it comes to data, everything is relative.
Chevy was a big winner, but advance information did not allow us to benchmark Chevy, Cruze, Camaro, Glee and other terms so we have only post-game data there. All of this is very positive, as Chevy and its brands measure 49:1 for Cruze and Glee, second only to VW.
Of those we "pre-measured" for Sentiment, the big winner for post Super Bowl increase in this category was Disney’s upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which bodes well for a boffo opening weekend this summer. Other big Sentiment gainers were Chrysler and CarMax.
Now that the game is over there are some clear winners. BMW, PepsiCo (Doritos and PepsiMax), GoDaddy, Volkswagen (Beetle and Passat), Chrysler, CarMax, Bridgestone, Kia, Focus and Disney all placed in the top two of one or more of our categories.
But what made these brands stand out over others? It was a close game which meant that most of the 111 million viewers sat through the entire game. That meant that in terms of viewership it was a level playing field for all of the advertisers. Some of the companies had a bigger head start in terms of social reach and online presence, and some of the percentages favored those who had smaller numbers to begin with.
But when all is said and done, each ad was given the same chance to the same audience, and still some generated far greater online activity than others. So what does that mean? It means that creativity and targeted messaging still count for a lot in marketing. Just like in football, teams that have the most exciting players, that can put together a beautifully timed and cohesive unit, that can surprise their opponents, and that can stay focused on their main objectives, usually win.
Congratulations to all those brands that gave us exciting, surprising and beautifully executed creative and that knew what messaging would most appeal to their audiences.
If you would like the complete report with detailed stats on every brand, be sure to download your free copy of the Super Bowl Social Brand Scoreboard.
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