While most Super Bowl viewers were concentrating on the Giants-Patriots final score, we were tallying up a different score — call it the Social Network Bowl, if you want — and the final score was just as close as in the real game.
Based on my informal tracking, Twitter and Facebook shared equal visibility during the Super Bowl, being mentioned in eight commercials each. And both of them skunked Google+, which wasn’t mentioned at all during any Super Bowl ads.
Out of 59 total commercials — that’s my unofficial count beginning with kickoff and ending when time ran out in the fourth quarter, not including NBC/NFL promos nor the local ad breaks — the final tally, as shown above, is:
Twitter hashtags/mentions: 8
Facebook mentions: 8
Google+ mentions: 0
What was interesting to see was the timing of social mentions. The first two commercials of the game — for Bud Light and Audi — both included a Twitter hashtag as those companies aimed to catch early buzz before competitors, and/or before the game action took over the Twitter conversation. Meanwhile, there were no Facebook mentions in any of the commercials that aired during the first quarter. Conversely, only one commercial that aired after halftime — for Jack In The Box — used a Twitter hashtag.
Twitter Super Bowl Commercial Mentions
Here are the Super Bowl commercials that mentioned Twitter:
- Bud Light Platinum – #makeitplatinum
- Audi – #solongvampires
- Bud Light Platinum – #makeitplatinum (different commercial, same hashtag)
- Best Buy – #betterway
- General Electric – #whatworks
- H&M Beckham Bodywear – #beckhamforhm
- Cars.com – showed Twitter logo
- Jack In The Box – #marrybacon
The inclusion of hashtags seemed to work in almost every case, as the hashtag itself or the company that used it usually showed up pretty quickly in Twitter’s trending topics — like in this screenshot from the first quarter.
Facebook Super Bowl Commercial Mentions
Here are the Super Bowl commercials that mentioned Facebook:
- Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax movie
- The Avengers movie
- Cars.com (showed Facebook logo)
- Bud Light (halftime ad)
- Pepsi-Max (not a Facebook URL, but PepsiMax.com/Facebook)
- Bud Light
- Samsung Galaxy Note
Google+ Super Bowl Commercial Mentions
- (This space left blank.)
Yes, Google+ was shut out. Zero mentions in any Super Bowl ads. Even though 77 of the top 100 brands have Google+ pages, not a single one was compelled to mention it on TV.
Google bought a Super Bowl commercial in 2010, but not this year. That would’ve been its only hope to get airtime during today’s game.
Postscript, February 6: Altimeter Group has done a similar comparison of Super Bowl ads, but with more detail than I used. They also looked at commercials shown in Chicago, where it’s likely that more national brands were buying even the local ad spots. Here’s the Altimeter data.
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