Super Bowl ads create as much expectation as the game itself. This year was no exception, as the brands competed on sexiness, amusement, emotion and amazement.
Social media, and especially Twitter, are becoming the place where people react instantaneously to what they see on the main screen. It’s just logical that more and more brands are trying to push their own hashtags within their ads to create large conversations of their own. But people mostly just tweet about the name of the product or the company, since it’s so much easier to write “The Audi ad was cool!” than “That Budweiser horse is so cute #Clydesdales”. In a case like this, adding the hashtag at the end of the sentence is useful for the advertiser, not for the Twitter user.
We used Ejenio to analyze what people said about some of these ads, how far their ripples went and if they had enough impact to make watchers of the game send a tweet or two about these products.
Here are the 4 lessons I learned from this monitoring. Considering a 30 second spot cost advertisers $3.75 million, each of these lessons would have a street value of $938k.
Lesson 1 :Germans and Koreans speak the loudest (when it comes to cars).
Volkswagen has developed a habit of making great commercials for the Super Bowl. This year, their Jamaican happiness has spread on Twitter, where they got the most mentions of any car company, just in front of Audi and its teenage courage. Mercedes-Benz completed the German podium, being number 3 in the carmaker category. The 3 of them combined had more than 100 million impressions on Twitter.
Piers Morgan from CNN was responsible by himself for 3,5 million impressions of VW in relation to the Beetle’s Super Bowl ad. Although his message wasn’t that positive, it wasn’t a jab at the brand, just a statement that the ad wouldn’t make him buy this car (supposing it’s his type of car to begin with).
Funny fact, Chevrolet had one of the most retweeted messages when they spoke directly to Toyota. They were (by inadvertance?) the most important Toyota influencer, creating 4% of all the noise linked to the Japanese brand’s commercial.
Lesson 2 : No lights. No problem. How Oreo climbed during the blackout.
Oreo had a great impact with their library commercial that aired during the first quarter of the game. In the “munchies and soft drinks” category, it came in second only to Doritos. The real spark of genius for the famous cookie came during the blackout. While all the brands were taking a break, Oreo sent their now famous tweet “Power out? No problem”.
This tweet provoked a sudden and unexpected spike in Oreo mentions on Twitter, as can be seen by the yellow line’s second climb. Notice how all the other brands stay low during the same period.
Lesson 3 : It’s not easy being new. How “new” brands were almost ignored.
Some lesser-known brands came into play this year. The three that come to mind are Gildan (clothing), Soda Stream (soft drinks) and Wonderful Pistachios (munchies). It was tough for them to compete with the veterans. Still, Soda Stream managed to get people to tweet about them.
Although getting people to talk about an ad is normally the objective on Twitter, it isn’t when people are telling others to boycott your product. The most retweeted messages about Soda Stream are definitely not what they had in mind when they decided to go global during the Super Bowl.
For their part, Wonderful Pistachios and Gildan were seldom discussed. Although the pistachio brand hired the singer Psy in a ‘psy’chedelic Gangnam Style remake, the ad didn’t rise to its potential on Twitter. A good part of the 2.3 million impressions came from large Twitter accounts focused on all things Korean.
Finally, Gildan had a tougher time, going below 500 messages and 1 millions impressions. At the published rate of $3,75 millions for the ad, the cost per impression would hover near 5$. Of course, the ad was created for tv, not for Twitter. It could nonetheless be an indication of the impact it had on people. As one person said, we now know that Gildan is a huge company able to pay Super Bowl dollars for its marketing.
Lesson 4 : Scoring first gives a definite advantage.
Football fans know the importance of being the first to put points on the board. The Baltimore Ravens did it during the Super Bowl, and so did a couple of brands by being showcased during the first quarter. As is easily seen in this graph, the main ads during the first part of the game ranked higher in terms of brand mention than the ones occurring near the end. The volumes are lower for all the second half commercials. It shows once again that it pays to be among the first if you want people to notice you.