SuperBowl XLIX Was A Social Media Record Breaker
By: Kalyn Schieffer
Chances are that you are one of the 114.5 million people who watched that little football game on Sunday night and helped make it the most watched show in U.S. TV history. Tom Brady’s beautiful face and oh, that whole last minute game changing interception pushed viewership higher than ever and made the folks over at NBC very very happy. However, when people’s eyes weren’t glued to their TV set or shedding tears of joy/sadness, they were all over social media. This shouldn’t come as a shock by now, but the most watched SuperBowl also became the most-tweeted SuperBowl as well with over 28 million global tweets. Social media was being used for all different reasons during the big game, but there are a few common trends that emerged this year.
Of course the #SB49 hashtag was all over the place, but there were plenty of others to interact with Sunday night. In fact, over half of the ads that ran during the SuperBowl featured a related hashtag. One that I’m sure comes to mind first is the #LikeAGirl hashtag that Always used as their latest campaign namesake. According to social media research firm Networked Insights, this ad scored the largest positive emotional lift of them all. Always and the other 32 brands who featured hasthtags in their ads are proof of the hashtag’s evolution and big brands’ trust in its ability to generate buzz and conversation.
Pregame with Ads
Before we even got to Sunday night, my Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds were full of people “Awww-ing” at the latest Budweiser #bestbuds ad featuring a quite Aw-worthy puppy. I somehow managed to control myself and refrain from watching it ahead of time, but I was clearly one of very few people to do so. YouTube reports that before and all the way through Sunday night, people spent 4 MILLION hours watching SuperBowl ads and teasers. That is nearly double the figure from last year. Either people are more bored during the weeks leading up to the SuperBowl, or companies are releasing their ads earlier to generate pre-buzz. Could be a bit of both. However torturous it was to scroll past that sad little puppy still from the ad all week long, I see their motivation for releasing it early. I kept my eyes glued to the screen and couldn’t wait to see what happened to that puppy and why he was alone in the rain, whereas I was unprepared for some of the ads that ran.
Winning the “Second Screen”
Speaking of ads I was unprepared for, the Nationwide ad shocked a majority of the users. In a not so pleasant way. Just like people took to their “second screen” to talk about/read about commercials they loved, they also used social media to share spots they didn’t quite agree with. Negative conversation around their now controversial ad blew up on Twitter within just a few minutes. During this time, one of Nationwide’s rivals, State Farm, took to Twitter and promoted a tweet that shared fire safety and prevention tips. Basically, they offered a solution to the dreary, morbid problem and scenario Nationwide laid out for the world.
This isn’t the first time brands have capitalized on moments viewers see on their TV screens. During the blackout that occurred in the 2013 SuperBowl, several big brands leapt into action and got tweeting while they knew viewers were probably looking at their phones rather than the TV. The most famous of them all was Oreo’s tweet heard round the world that read, “Power Out? No problem” accompanied by a graphic that told viewers, “You can still dunk in the dark.” Pure brilliance and quick thinking is what that was. It was retweeted 14,500 plus times and reached a massive 13.3 M audience, and if you take a peek below, it’s one of the first things that comes up when you Google search “Superbowl blackout.” #Winning. If you didn’t love oreos before (shame on you) you probably fell in love afterwards.
It’s fascinating to see how the SuperBowl has evolved over the years and to analyze just how far it reaches and how many channels it takes over. If someone doesn’t care about the actual football game, there’s still a chance they’ll flip it on to see the ads. If someone doesn’t have access to a TV, their best bet is to follow a steady stream of updates on social media. Brands have capitalized on this giant event in all the places viewers eyes will be throughout. In conclusion, my prediction is that we will be seeing a whole lot more Snapchat promotion in the major advertisements. Pitch Perfect 2 is just way ahead of the curve. What were your favorite social media moments from this past Sunday? Let me know on Twitter @CasterKalyn.