Commercials Of The 2013 Super Bowl: Over 80% Had An Online Call To Action

Despite arguments that four million dollars are better spent online than on a Super Bowl commercial, there’s rarely an advertising opportunity that can raise awareness of your brand and get people talking like a Super Bowl commercial done right.

From kick off until final play, I tracked 42 brands and 53 commercials with an eye toward how those brands might be tracking success. Did they want viewers to talk about their brand? Visit their web site? Go online to see the commercial again? Or just go out and buy the product?

Eight of the ads had no calls to action at all, so apparently the advertiser just wanted you to know about (and presumably buy) Gildan t-shirts or Sketchers or Kias.

Online Calls to Action

Different Calls To Action For TV Vs. Online Version

More advertisers than ever released their commercials online (or released teasers) before the game. Many of them ended the online version with a Facebook URL, but replaced that with a Twitter hashtag when aired on TV. In some ways, this seems like a great strategy, as hashtags work best as a moment in time discussion, and Facebook is better at comments left over time.

On the other hand, since some of the brands chose fairly generic hashtags that were already being used for other conversations, seeding the discussion by including the hashtag in the early online version might have made for a better brand experience initially.

GoDaddy #thekiss


Find Us On Instagram!

One advertiser (Oreo) sent viewers to Instagram, and I wonder how well that worked for them. The commercial said “choose your side on Instagram at Oreo.” Going to, I just got the login page, and doing a search for [instagram oreo] just brought photos people had tagged of Oreos.

Instagram home page


Oreo Search Results

I finally figured out that I actually needed to go to But did everyone else? Of course, it didn’t matter in the end, since Oreo likely got way more mileage out of their spur of the moment Tweet about the black out than their commercial in any case.

Is Shazam Still A Thing?

Jack in the Box urged viewers to Shazam the commercial to see the extended video. Does Shazam have a website now that you can search directly (it appears not)? Or did Jack in the Box actually think everyone watching would have the Shazam app on their phones and would just open it up and record during the few moments before the commercial ended? That’s like last year’s GoDaddy commercial that expected we’d run up to the TV screen with our QR code readers.

Websites & Hashtags

In the end, nearly half the brands used hashtags, and nearly as many included their website addresses. Only four asked us to go to Facebook.  This is slightly fewer website and Facebook mentions, but four times as many hashtag mentions from 2012. Did these mentions pay off? Check back for my upcoming analysis.

Super Bowl Commercials

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Branding | Channel: Strategy | Facebook | Social Media Marketing: Hashtags | Statistics: Social Media | Super Bowl | Top News | Twitter


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. She built Google Webmaster Central and went on to found software and consulting company Nine By Blue and create Blueprint Search Analytics< which she later sold. Her book, Marketing in the Age of Google, (updated edition, May 2012) provides a foundation for incorporating search strategy into organizations of all levels. Follow her on Twitter at @vanessafox.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn

Marketing Day:

Get the top marketing stories daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Marketing Land on Twitter @marketingland Like Marketing Land on Facebook Follow Marketing Land on Google+ Subscribe to Our Feed! Join our LinkedIn Group Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Marketing News!

Marketing Day is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!