Social Media: Bringing the World Together for the Love of Football… or is it Commercials?

Posted by Katie Kalmes

For the past two years the Super Bowl has been the most watched television program in the United States and this year was no exception. According to NBC Sports, 111.3 million viewers watched Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday.

But this year’s game was nothing like any game before it. Not because of the amount of viewers or the epic finish of the game. This was the first ever “social media” Super Bowl. Viewers posted more than 11.2 million comments on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

As my peer Erin Hall pointed out in her blog-post entitled “Social Media vs. Traditional Advertising,” many viewers of Super Bowl XLVI watch it for the commercials. Advertisers spend, on average, $3.5 million per 30-second spot. Question is with the onset of the social-media revolution, is that money well spent?

Although this year’s game had millions of viewers, most of the tweets related to the Super Bowl were not about the football plays. About 42 percent of the comments were about the commercials and 32 percent was related to Madonna and the halftime performance.

Those statistics alone are proof enough for me that the commercials catch the eye of the viewers. It doesn’t matter if we think they’re bad or good because either way we end up talking about them, which makes us remember that company.

But if you’re not convinced that $3 million ads are worth it, let’s take a look at how many comments specific ads received.

According to Bluefin Labs, the top 4 social media ads of this year’s Super Bowl were:

  1. H&M – David Beckham Bodywear
    1. Number of social media comments: 109,000
    2. Women = 80 percent of comments
  2. Chrysler – It’s Halftime in America (feat. Clint Eastwood
    1. Number of social media comments: 96,000
    2. Men = 65 percent of comments
  3. NBC The Voice – Vocal Kombat (feat. Betty White)
    1. Number of social media comments: 90,000
  4. Doritos – Man’s Best Friend
    1. Number of social media comments: 74,000
    2. Received highest rate of positive comments: 61 percent

See the rest of the most commented-on advertisements here.

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7 responses to “Social Media: Bringing the World Together for the Love of Football… or is it Commercials?

  1. Did you notice how many commercials featured “man’s best friend?” Aside from the Doritos commercial, there was the VW one, and at least two or three others that featured dogs. Are dogs a marketing strategy?

  2. The commercials and halftime performance have certainly become part of the Super Bowl game. It wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without these things. And it’s interesting to see these numbers; people are clearly intrigued and fascinated in order to tweet and post comments on Facebook. I think the big companies who advertised definitely got their money’s worth with the help of social media!

  3. Well, this might sound strange, but I didn’t watch the Superbowl, and don’t have a television in my room. So on the opposite side of things, the commercials that air during the Superbowl create a divide between those who saw them, and those you didn’t.

    • Although I agree that there might be a divide, I think the social media side of the Super Bowl is decreasing it. There were many sites dedicated to only playing the Super bowl commercials. I know Hulu throughout the week of the Super Bowl had an “AdZone” category where you could watch all the commercials and comment on them. Part of the social media revolution of the Super Bowl is to try and include everyone.

  4. Elizabeth Robinson

    As a sports lover, particularly football, I find the increased use of social media very interesting. While I was watching the Super Bowl for the actual game itself, it was interesting to follow the tweets along with the game. I’ve noticed this not only with the Super Bowl, but with other sporting events, political debates, etc. The different comments, stats and information that is not shown on TV but is learned from tweets seems to just add to the experience. Whether it’s the entertaining comments from friends or the informative tweets from professionals, I seem to get more out of what I’m watching when I’m watching the conversation it is generating.

    • The same thing applies to awards shows too. Most of the movie, music and television award shows have a running stream of tweets or Facebook updates about the event. It’s funny to see how society is trying to make watching TV a social task rather than someone sitting alone in their home watching a football game.

  5. My Twitter feed was full of comments about the commercials that night. Like Bailey, I noticed that many companies used dogs in their advertising. I think it is a good marketing strategy! I especially liked the VW commercial with the dog trying to get in shape.

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