• Matt McGee

    The discussion has certainly been interesting.

    I’d say this about the idea of brands using hashtags to target Twitter: Oreo was the only brand that specifically targeted Instagram with its Super Bowl TV ad, but that ad did not have a hashtag in it. It clearly wasn’t associating hashtags with Instagram with that ad. Likewise, later in the game when the power went out, Oreo posted that fantastic “newsjacking” image on Twitter, and didn’t put it on Instagram.

    It’s certainly possible that a couple other brands may have made the connection between hashtags and either Instagram or Google+, and I should’ve mentioned in my article that hashtags are part of both those platforms (though they were part of Twitter long before either one). So that was a mistake on my part to not mention that.

    I have to stick with the folks that actually work with major brands and measure this stuff, like Bluefin Labs (just acquired by Twitter), which said on Tuesday that “Twitter is the platform where the overwhelming majority ­– about 95% – of public real-time engagement with TV happens.” Brands know that data. Brands work with Twitter’s media team to learn how to take advantage of that engagement opportunity. So when they advertise a hashtag, they’re targeting Twitter users. And if they get any traction with that other 5% of real-time TV engagement, that’s a bonus.

  • http://www.timacheson.com/ Tim Acheson

    Dude, there were no posts whatsoever on Google+ with these hashtags. I have checked all of them and can confirm that it was tumbleweeds during the event and it still is now.

    By claiming that these hashtags were intended for Google+, the corporation’s characteristically fanatical defenders have succeeded only in highlighting the fact that the platform is dead. They’re not delusional or in denial; they’re merely disingenuous — nobody seriously believes that these hashtags were for G+. These are the same people who solemnly pretend that G+ has “more active users than Twitter”, and insist that of course the only reason why even Google’s own staff don’t seem to be using it is because there’s loads of activity it’s just all done secretly in “private” posts. Like all the best propaganda, the attempted deception is so bold that it’s hard to believe anyone would make up such brazen falsehoods.

    Google+ is an epic fail, as expected, like Buzz, Wave, etc. Google and its fanboys are conspicuously flogging a proverbial dead horse. It’s embarrassing to watch.

  • http://www.timacheson.com/ Tim Acheson

    Dud let’s get real. Nobody was using these hashtags on Google+.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    I actually found three of the brands listed posted with their Super Bowl hashtags. That’s covered in one of the sections above. Most did not. A few spot checks show that some individuals also shared information based on hashtags they saw, but it seems nowhere near the level as on Twitter. In part, I think that’s because if the brand isn’t sharing that way, it doesn’t motivate others to do the same.

  • http://www.maxminzer.com/ Max Minzer

    Biased G+ [highly] active user here…
    What are we talking about here? G+ is not in the mainstream media yet. It’s getting stronger and stronger but it’s still battling with tons of skepticism from outside. I wouldn’t expect anyone to interact with brands on G+ during Super Bawl this year. I think it’s too early for that…

  • http://www.timacheson.com/ Tim Acheson

    This is an excellent piece of research — thorough and conclusive.

    Everything Google says needs to be fact checked. You cannot take anything said by them or their fanatical loyalists at face value. It’s reassuring to see that people are realizing this.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    I agree. It’s not mainstream, at least in terms of advertisers feeling they should use it within their ads. That was what the original article was showing. It’s just that some questioned whether that was unfairly not counting Google+ mentions, in some way.

  • http://www.timacheson.com/ Tim Acheson

    I checked Google+ for the top 10 from your recent list of superbowl ad hashtags. Google+ was dead for these hashtags.

    Like #betterwithmms which in the history of Google+ has only ever had one post — which is an empty post devoid of any content, from some random guy. The same guy actually posted 50 empty posts during the superbowl, none of which had any content other than one or two hashtags. Like a fake account designed to make it look like there was activity during the superbowl. He has 9 people in his circles (one of whom is an official Google account). He also has a Twitter account, which mirrored his activity on G+. He follows 520 people on Twitter, an d 376 people on Facebook.

    Looking at all Superbowl ad hashtags together on Google+, there’s only a handful of posts (some of which look like auto posts cross-posting to all platforms as you mentioned) — but there is an interesting pattern. It’s the same small handful of people doing the posting. In fact, all but two of those who posted Superbowl ad hashtags were people I already had in my own circles — SMALL WORLD!

  • http://www.timacheson.com/ Tim Acheson

    Google+ is plagued by fake accounts and Spambots.

    It seems Google is happy to count Spam accounts and posts if it makes their platform seem more active. Too desperate. Epic fail.

    A cross-section of Google’s proudly boasted “active-users” on Google+ — e.g. the first which is blatantly a Spambot account with 30 followers:



    It would not matter so much if Google+ had more genuine active accounts. But the few that do exist are buried beneath the tide of spam. Apparentyl not everyone can identify Spam, perhaps peferring to belieive that the hot babe in the profile photo really does want to follow them — because Google+ Spam accounts do seem to attract followers, it’s a really sad reflection of G+ users.

  • http://profiles.google.com/trappermark Mark Traphagen

    I think this shows two things:

    1) Brands not using Google+ are missing an opportunity to build a community where there competition isn’t. There are brands that are doing this to great benefit.

    2) Twitter owns the second screen, and rightfully so. It’s the easiest place to do the kind of in the moment quick reactions that hashtag ads are aimed at.

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewJStein Andrew Stein

    In the end, it takes three things to make a platform, and from the start, Google has missed the biggest one. One feels that Google is getting the structure and foundation right, and will deliver on the third item, eventually, but as time goes on, it looks more and more like Google+ is the first “closed” system from Google. What’s missing to make Google+ a ubiquitous brand platform? APIs that allow a third party community to develop mainstream marketing applications and social tools that fit large and niche needs. A good read on “platforms” is found from Harvard Business School at: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/01/three_elements_of_a_successful_platform.html See the item called “Toolbox.” Google+ has the other items, but the toolbox is the key to ubiquity, both in terms of “brand” (a la the Superbowl) and also in terms of everything else. Ask any of your “social media” tools providers what they are hearing from Google…, “crickets”… will likely be the answer.

  • http://staynalive.com/ Jesse Stay

    Re: Instagram, Oreo asked people to vote on Instagram in their Superbowl commercial – not sure I saw any references to the Oreo campaign.

    I think what this shows is marketers just haven’t figured out Google+ yet. Google has some work cut out for them.

  • Brett

    Regardless of the channel, the one thing that confused me about the advertisers’ social media tie-ins on Super Bowl commercials is how they all waited until the final second of their spots to show a hashtag, URL, etc. Why not show it throughout so that people have time to see it? My analysis on the big game ads: http://bit.ly/WDdlfj

  • http://sarugu.com/ Albert

    Google+ is just yesterday born baby. Leave him alone for now.

  • Alan

    Have a look at how the most powerful man on the planet (and his team) use the 3 social networks.we are discussing.




    Basically fb and twitter daily, G+ once a week on average. Although there are times when it goes months without being updated.

    As I have said before G+ is a place for Web pro’s, SEO’s and Google employee’s to hang out. No matter how much Google stuffs it down their throats the people who influence us (our real friends) will not be on G+ in any meaningful sense in the near future.