Published on: February 4, 2015by Kate McMahon
While there is only one snow-delayed victory parade scheduled to take place today, the New England Patriots weren’t the only winners in Super Bowl XLIX.
Twitter, Facebook, NBC and a diverse cross-section of advertisers continue to bask in the thrill of victory. On the flip side, a controversial Nationwide insurance commercial is still being scrutinized alongside Seattle’s last, calamitous play-call.
In addition to historic TV ratings, the Sunday night game set Super Bowl
records on Twitter and Facebook. The closely contested match-up generated 28.4 million tweets – 3.6 million more than last year – and some 65 million Facebook users shared 265 million posts, links and comments during the game.
Advertisers that shelled out $4.5 million for a 30-second spot can thank social media for keeping their brand in the conversation long after the last snap, or in the Seahawks’ case, the final crushing interception.
Back in the day, Super Bowl ad was just that – a one-time commercial aired during television’s biggest spectacle. Now many of the ads are previewed, reviewed and replayed everywhere before the big game. And even pulled before airing, as was the case with the GoDaddy spoof of the Budweiser puppy love commercials. (While I typically find GoDaddy’s standard sexist ads offensive and boorish, I would agree with Content Guy that this commercial was actually funny and on point.)
Today, social metric analytics can pinpoint which ads were buzz-worthy, for better or worse.
Not surprisingly, the warm-and-fuzzy Budweiser lost-puppy-rescued-by-Clydesdales ad was the most shared spot online, most popular on TiVo, and voted best national Super Bowl commercial by viewers on Hulu’s AdZone. By mid-day yesterday, it had a stunning 24 million views on YouTube.
The #bestbuds commercial was eclipsed in one category by Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign, which generated the most social action with 408,000 mentions during the game, according to the firm Amobee. Even though the girl-empowering video debuted on YouTube (and MNB) last year, the Twittersphere celebrated its introduction to a national TV audience. I completely agree.
Also feelin’ the love from viewers: McDonalds, CocaCola, Skittles, Fiat, Dove for Men and Doritos.
The buzz kill of the night award went to Nationwide for what is being called the “dead kid” ad. The safety awareness promo, featuring a young boy listing all of the life events he will miss due to a preventable childhood accident, generated over 230,000 social mentions during the game. Almost two-thirds were negative, a quarter neutral and just 12% positive.
Nationwide defended the ad, saying it was meant to promote the company’s Make Safe Happen program and thousands of consumers went to its website during the game.
"We're not sorry. We did not set out to bum people out who were watching the Super Bowl," Matt Jauchius, chief marketing officer at Nationwide, told USA Today. "This conversation (about child safety) was not taking place before Sunday. If the commercial saves one child's life, it's worth it."
I think there are two takeaways here. One: If Nationwide can turn this into a real conversation, drive consumer awareness and affect change, then airing the ad was worth all of the social media blowback. It is actually a huge opportunity in spite of the negativity.
Two: Social media has changed the way we watch the Super Bowl - and shop and communicate. Retailers, marketers and service providers that do not embrace these fast-changing platforms to connect with consumers are clearly making the wrong play-call.
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- KC's View: