Super Bowl Thoughts from @SprtsMktgProf

usat-admeter-logoWell, another Super Bowl has come and gone. And the Monday Morning QB’s are out in force – judging, praising, critiquing and criticizing firms’ advertising and social media efforts.

How can you learn from these insights – and more importantly can you poke holes in their analysis? This post is designed to let you think about Super Bowl in different ways, both in looking at this year and future iterations.

How To Keep Score
There is a desire to declare “winners.” Such declarations are fun and easy to understand for readers. But in reality, each firm advertising during #SB48 has a different agenda.

The USA Today Ad Meter captures the “entertainment” factor of each ad and whether the public “likes” the ad. Yet an ad I found effective was the Bud Light Cool Twist ranked dead last on the Ad Meter. The ad was NOT entertaining, but had Bud Light and its new packaging exposed to the country. There was no “story”, no humor, no puppies, but the ad worked in communicating its message. Mission accomplished!

The Increasing (?) Role of Social Media
A common theme in the media coverage of the Super Bowl is the increasing role of Social Media. Over time firms have moved from promoting their websites to Facebook pages to Twitter handles to hashtags. But how many tweets were there during the game? According to, there was a jump from 13.7 million tweets in 2012 to 24.1 million in 2013.

So what was the 2014 number? Mashable reported 24.9 million tweets.  So has Twitter’s rapid growth peaked? Or will there be a marked improvement next year?

One interpretation of this data is that the half hour Blackout during the 2013 game accounted for millions of extra tweets during the “game”. If last year’s number had been 18 million tweets, the trend line would look a lot better, right? Either way interested to track next year’s Twitter chatter.

A final issue to keep your eye on next year is the use of social media by firms that are not advertisers or sponsors, yet use the Super Bowl as a platform to spread their brand’s message.

Last year Oreo was the big “winner” in this category. This year Esurance gained a lot of visibility with its post-game contest , as indicated by this tweet from @srabe:

JCPenney also attracted a lot of attention by tweeting with terrible typing errors – later revealing that it was a promotion for mittens.

I suspect you will see a lot more of these kinds of campaigns in the years to come – and that somewhere there is a group gathered around a conference table at an ad agency right now plotting their moves for next year’s game.