The Winning Brands of Super Bowl XLVIII


Let’s talk about last night from a numbers perspective. Not from the standpoint of the final score, but from the impact of the game. From that perspective, the game gets much more interesting:

  • twitterThere were 24.9 million tweets around the Super Bowl during the broadcast.
  • The Super Bowl broadcast recorded a 47.6 household rating and a 70 share, making it the 5th most-watched Super Bowl of all time.
  • Four of the top 10 brands that sustained the highest average tweets per minute aired more than one commercial during the game.

As the numbers show, there was a massive audience for last night’s game. While the Super Bowl game may have been a blowout by halftime, the same can’t be said for the “Brand Bowl.” From kick-off through the post-game broadcast, brands ramped up their efforts to win new fans and build buzz. From our point of view, these were the winning brands of Super Bowl XLVIII:

eSurance: With their #eSuranceSave30 Super Bowl campaign, eSurance raised the bar for future commercial and social media integration. The campaign was centered on the fact that eSurance was airing the first ad immediately following the final whistle of the Super Bowl game. By purchasing that ad slot instead of one during the game, eSurance saved $1.5 million (30% of the cost of a 30-second in-game spot). The company offered this “discount” to people in the form of a contest prize. Viewers tweeting the #eSuranceSave30 hashtag were then entered into a contest to win the prize.

The campaign is already a runaway success, generating more than 2.1 million tweets with the hashtag in less than 24 hours. More than 200,000 of those tweets came in the first minute. Further, the campaign neatly ties with eSurance’s established brand identity as a discount insurance company. While the low barrier to entry for the campaign has allowed some people on Twitter to craft offensive tweets using the hashtag, an overwhelming majority of Tweets are innocuous and serve to raise awareness of the eSurance brand and campaign.

Digiorno Pizza Twitter

Digiorno: The company may not have invested in an ad during the game, but Digiorno found a way to win big on social media. Following in the steps of Oreo and other brands, Digiorno engaged in an evening of social media newsjacking. Throughout the night, Digiorno live-tweeted clever jokes and puns with a #DiGiorNOYOUDIDNT hashtag. While other brands tried the same play with their own Twitter campaigns, Digiorno scored a second half touchdown with a Tweet that was funny, timely and perfectly aligned with its branding. That singular post has been retweeted more than 17,000 times, showcasing the power and reach of a well-crafted tweet.

Budweiser: Anheuser-Busch ran multiple ads throughout the night for its brands, but with two minutes left in the game, Budweiser secured the top spot as a winning brand. Its “Best Buds” commercial, which featured a golden retriever puppy befriending a Clydesdale horse, scored instant praise, and in fact, drew attention in the days prior to the game. The spot had a heartwarming and light-hearted narrative, and it perfectly united Budweiser’s beloved mascot with America’s favorite pet. The YouTube version of the ad, which was released prior to the Super Bowl, has received more than 37 million views. Budweiser also created a Twitter account for the puppy, which has drawn more than 11,000 followers—nearly a quarter of the followers of the main Budweiser account—in a short period of time.

HillaryHillary Clinton: Regardless of whether you think a person can be a brand, there is no arguing the social media coup that Hillary Clinton achieved last night. At 8:44 P.M., Hilary sent a tweet mocking the Fox Broadcasting Company and the Super Bowl blowout. It was well-timed, clever, and showcased her media savvy. The post, only her 49th, has already been retweeted more than 55,000 times and has become her most shared tweet. In addition to being incredibly popular, the post also helped her gain enough followers to push her over the one million mark.

What were your favorite brands of the night? Do you think a different brand won the night?

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