Super Bowl 50 & Social Media

Super Bowl Sunday: one of the biggest sporting events of the year. You either watch it for the football or you watch it for the commercials; rarely it is both. While I enjoy football, I have no interest in the NFL – it’s hard to when you grew up with the Lions – so it’s really all about the commercials for me.

In recent years, social media has become a large part of Super Bowl Sunday, mainly the commercials. Brands began including hashtags in their commercials or mentioning their social media profiles. And some brands have some quick thinkers behind their social media; who can forget Oreo’s great tweet during the blackout in 2013?

So how did Super Bowl 50’s commercials fair on social media?

Before we get too far, Marketing Land reports that 60 national ads played from kick off to the end of the game. Twitter and Facebook both saw drastic drop-offs in activity this year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t highlights to talk about.

Hashtag Usage

Of the 60 commercials that aired, nearly half of them used a hashtag during their tv spot. This number is the lowest it has been since 2012, when only 12% of commercials used a hashtag. Some of the hashtags used were pretty generic to the brand. For example, Snickers used #EatASnickers, which is a pretty common theme for their brand. Doritos kept it simple by just using #Doritos, which makes sense since they played multiple ads. Other brands had hashtags that went along with their commercial. Avocados From Mexico used #AvosInSpace and Skittles used #SkittlesArt, which both coincide with what happened during their ad. I’m kind of surprised that brands didn’t try to incorporate SB50 into their hashtags at all since it was a landmark game. Hyundai was the closest with #HyundaiSuperBowl.

Social Media Commercial Mentions

As social media grew, so did mentions of Facebook, Twitter, etc. in commercials. To me, this is a particularly good idea since so many people are on their phones during the game. They can easily look up a Facebook Page or Twitter Profile.

The mention of pages and profiles dropped off this year. Each social media channel was only mentioned in 3 ads each. The record for Twitter mentions was set at 26 in 2013, but slowly decreased in 2014 and 2015. Facebook didn’t show much of a change though.

URL Mentions

Use of URLs in commercials dropped off slightly this year as well. Thirty-five percent of commercials used a URL, compared to 45 percent in 2015 and 41 percent in 2014. URL usage has mixed results. In order for it to be effective, it has to be an easy to remember URL. It doesn’t appear on the TV for very long, making it not as appealing to visit compared to Facebook and Twitter, or other social media platforms.

Halftime Show

We can’t talk about the Super Bowl and not talk about Beyonce. Beyonce was mentioned in 147,000 tweets per minute, while Coldplay only hit 83,000 tweets per minute during the show. Bow down to the queen Chris Martin.

Top Shared Commercial

Doritos’ “Ultrasound” commercial hit it big on social media. The commercial was shared nearly 900,000 times. Based on my Facebook timeline and Twitter feed, not everyone loved the commercial, but it did get people talking about Doritos as a brand and isn’t that the point?

Was this one of your favorite commercials? Or did another brand catch your attention? My personal favorite was the Hyundai “First Date” commercial, the fourth most shared ad. Check it out:

While the use of social media and URL mentions and hashtags was down from previous years, social media still played a large role in ads for Super Bowl 50. Many viewers used social media to share their opinions on ads and discuss their opinions with others. As long as social media is still prominent, I think it will continue to be part of the Super Bowl.

Lexie Kimball

Lexie is an Account Manager at Netvantage Marketing, an online marketing company that specializes in SEO, PPC and social media. At Netvantage, Lexie assists with online marketing campaigns and social media outreach.

One Comment

M2Comms |Public Relations Philippines

No doubt Social Media is constantly changing our lives not just to socialize but also to engage. Every year, America celebrates its biggest sporting event which is the Superbowl, most brands see this as a window of opportunity to market their products since most Americans will watch the show. Since Social Media is the easiest way to connect to engage their products towards their customers. I think this is the best example on how Social Media can connect to an important event. Since most brands tend to use hashtags to trend, a lot are trying to find funky ways to make their brand look enticing not just in the visuals but also in the hashtags as well. Nice thoughts to ponder on!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *