Super Bowl Advertisers Score Big on Twitter; Missed Engagement Opportunities with Consumers

It’s no secret that I’m a social media geek, which is why I had no problem spending Super Bowl Sunday in the NMS office working with my co-workers to compile the 2009 Super Bowl Social Media Snapshot.

The snapshot, a quantitative and qualitative analysis, looked at how consumers used social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Wikipedia, and blogs to discuss not only the game, but also the brands featured in those million dollar commercials everyone keeps talking about – for now.

What I love about social media is that it allows companies to connect with their consumers on a deeply personal level. This is what most of us find fascinating about social media, right?

Unfortunately, most advertisers have not fully embraced this concept yet… which is why the Snapshot revealed that marketers may have missed a huge way to engage and connect with their consumers by not providing long-term relationship development opportunities.

Here are some of the findings I found most interesting:

  • In the 24-hour period surrounding the game, there were over 191,000 blog mentions of 41 Super Bowl advertising-related brands, personalities and terms
  • During the game itself, there were about 41 Super Bowl advertising-related brands, personalities and terms
  • Movie trailers and car companies saw the highest volume of blog mentions; notable performers included Audi, Star Trek, Hyundai and Transformers 2

However, here is where advertisers missed out:

Despite Facebook’s ability to serve as a tool for companies to build lists, much like Obama did by building a database of 13 million, through the group and brand pages, this year’s crop of advertisers failed to leverage the free tools available to compliment and maximize their TV buys.

  • The analysis showed minimal discussion on Facebook brand pages regarding spots aired during the game
  • Companies were selective in the platforms that they used – most posted their ads on YouTube at some point, some also ran a Twitter account in the character of their ad spot; however, users proliferated on dozens of social media platforms and no one single company successfully activated and realized the potential that was out there
  • For a significant number of online community members, social media usage surrounding this year’s game was centered on sharing and documenting their own Super Bowl Sunday experiences, including: preparing snacks for a planned Super Bowl party, watching the game with friends at a local bar and families tailgating in head-to-toe Steelers or Cardinals fan gear

Engaging consumers on a variety of platforms, such as promoting a Facebook fan page community or a highly interactive Twitter account (kudos to the brands that did this!), should have been the rule, not the exception.

The full report can be downloaded in .pdf form here:

Update: The Wall Street Journal ran a story showing how advertisers used Twitter to “keep Super Bowl buzz going.” The brands are: SoBe, H&R Block, E*Trade Financial, and  Some of these brands have a lot of work to do when it comes to engagement and response, but at least it’s a start.


5 thoughts on “Super Bowl Advertisers Score Big on Twitter; Missed Engagement Opportunities with Consumers

  1. Wow – it looks like you were super busy this weekend…

    I think PETA had the best approach. Spend no money on an actual super bowl ad… just create an overly sexual commercial and listen to the buzz about how it got rejected. lol

  2. Thanks for the great stats and report! I blogged about the questionable strategy of Superbowl advertising from an engagement standpoint yesterday and it’s great to see these hard numbers backing it up.

  3. I was busy, but it was so worth it!

    PETA definitely got the most bang for their buck, but I wanted to see more advertisers look to engage with their consumers.

    Imagine if one of the companies who was Tweeting throughout the game included a link to its Twitter account on the ad? It would have gotten a lot more follower who could interact with the brand for a long time – this would have given the company more insight into their consumers.

    I guess I was overly optimistic, thinking that more companies would learn from the Obama campaign that it’s more about engagement and less about broadcasting.

    It’s certainly a trend I believe we’ll see more of in 2009.

  4. Pingback: Using PR to Successfully Launch a Corporate Website « PR Interactive

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