Were the Super Bowl Social Winners REALLY the Winners?
By Mike Stiles on Feb 11, 2014
We know who won the Super Bowl. (In fact we knew that pretty early in the game.) But every year comes the inevitable post-game analysis of which ads performed best, and, more recently, analysis of which brands executed best on social around the event.
IEG’s annual sponsorship survey shows that social enjoyed the highest increase (+14%) in importance of any channel for activation (+14%), putting it just shy of PR.
It was interesting to watch the various strategies in play. More than ever, ads did not debut during the Super Bowl. They were released either in part or in full prior to the event on digital and social to get buzz started so the buzz would hit its zenith on the big night.
Other brands formed real-time “war rooms” in the hopes of capturing a moment such as Oreo had last year when the lights went out in the stadium. Such a big brand moment however did not occur this year, despite being baited by Joe Namath’s coat and premature coin flipping.
Some brands did big giveaways. Others staged stunts while still others stuck with the tried-and-true user generated content submissions. And, oddly, a great many brands all adopted the same tactic at once, which was to monitor and inject themselves into other brands’ social conversations.
Well? What worked?
Traditionally, social success is measured on a volume metric, Share of Voice (SOV). If that’s the way you’d like to judge, here are your winners:
- Budweiser 12.92%
- T-Mobile 11.63%
- RadioShack 10.37%
- Microsoft 6.58%
- Coca-Cola 6.17%
But wouldn’t it help to know if the ads made viewers experience generally positive emotions toward and around the brands? That’s a measure of sentiment. Here again, Budweiser wins with 70% positive sentiment. T-Mobile also did well with Tim Tebow’s help, as did RadioShack with its use of nostalgic celebrities.
Beyond these social metrics, we think the deeper you can look, the better. So our friends at Oracle Social Strategy Consulting conceived the Oracle Brand Tracker Index (BTI) to use indicators in the Oracle SRM Listen component to understand the reaction of “engaged consumers” to Super Bowl ads.
The BTI takes positive ad attributes from the SRM indicators (Awesomeness, Humor, Favorite, etc.), subtracts negative ad attributes, then divides the result by each brand's mentions to see whose ads drove awareness + preference.
The results illustrate “buzz” isn’t everything.
#1 on the BTI was Squarespace, which certainly didn’t enjoy the volume of others but performed relevantly and positively with its engagers. The depiction of characters you find on the Internet was relatable and social posts called out specific ones.
RadioShack was a winner in both SOV and BTI (#2), thanks to characters that brought fond memories. Social users had fun spotting each celebrity and calling out their faves on social. #3 Chevrolet left a heartfelt impression with its “Life” commercial around World Cancer Day. Viewers began sharing their own cancer survival stories on social.
#4 Bud Light’s “Epic Night” prank was praised for its use of a non-celebrity, non-actor average guy. Viewers could easily see themselves as that guy. And they continue to love (for the 8th year) Doritos’ (#5) “Crash the Super Bowl” spots. They like that members of the very funny public get the opportunity to be on such a huge stage.
What the Oracle BTI teaches us is what we actually write about quite often. Emotionally connecting with your audience, relating to them, knowing them, and meaning something to them is what will extend your social reach and power. If your fans and followers feel understood, invited and welcome, your brand will be taking home the trophy.
Feel free to take a full look at Oracle Social Strategy Consulting’s Super Bowl report.