The Social Side of the Super Bowl

The Social Side of the Super Bowl child page title

Whether you cheered for the New England Patriots this year or the NY Giants while watching Super Bowl XLVI, chances are you had a “second screen” somewhere nearby.

It is becoming increasingly common that TV viewers, magazine readers, newspaper flippers, and radio listeners are connected to a second screen (smartphone or tablet) where they engage with brand apps, text messages, or interact with friends on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest or YouTube.  This year it was predicted that roughly 60% of the 111 million Super Bowl fans were connected socially during the game on mobile devices.

Aside from taunting tweets and Facebook fights surrounding the teams of this year’s Super Bowl, the always popular and highly anticipated commercials of the big game scored big once again. And we’re not referring to the $3.5 million price tag of some 30-second slots. No, this year advertisers were looking to make the most of their money by having viewers engage with their content. As most savvy marketing experts know, this means spreading their message socially long after the TV spot and Super Bowl hype wrap-ups.

Since last year’s big game, social media has increasingly become a “normal” content outlet for marketers. Instead of the traditional “push” we have become accustomed to from marketers (ridiculous jingles, flashing sale discounts, preposterous claims), consumers are warmly accepting the “pull” model of modern marketing techniques. That is, social media marketing. Social content planted in an advertisement brings the viewer into the experience. Gone are the days of one-sided marketing conversations. Now, both sides benefit by having their messages heard through two way marketing and engaging content.

That being said, what better event to create engaging content for 111 million viewers than the Super Bowl. Thanks to the BrandBowl, a site built to gauge public reaction to the brands advertising during the Super Bowl, marketers can discover which brands created the most social engagement amongst viewers. By monitoring Twitter, people’s opinions are measured and algorithms rank the brands accordingly. The brand with the top “Brand Bowl score” after the big game is the winner.

This year’s BrandBowl for Super Bowl XlVI brought Doritos out on top with 48,498 tweets followed by H&M (43,970 tweets) and Chrysler (34,566 tweets). Overall, Super Bowl commercials and their brands were mentioned in 442,336 tweets. And while numbers for BrandBowl 2011 were still high, the use of tablet technology pushed this year’s number over the top. But that’s an entirely different conversation!

That poses the question: What will social engagement numbers look like for Super Bowl XLVII as mobile technology skyrockets? It may only be food for thought at the moment, but one thing is for sure – social content certainly gets the conversation rolling.

How has your brand or company experimented with social networks within the last year? What social networks do you think will dominate the marketing arena in the year to come?