HootSuite’s Super Bowl XLVI Social Media Recap

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This past Sunday, Super Bowl XLVI captured the collective attention of 11.3 million Americans (and more abroad), making it the most-watched US TV broadcast ever. In line with the Oscars, the World Cup, and the Royal Wedding – the NFL’s annual championship game and its surrounding spectacles – the halftime show and television ads – provided a great opportunity for friends to gather and discuss the event both online and on the couch.

With all of those eyes fixed on the game there were high expectations for players and halftime performers to deliver. Similarly, with an average of $3.5 million spent per thirty second spot there were equally high expectations set for Super Bowl ads.

In honor of the event and its ability to captivate audiences, HootSuite analyzed 105 ads ranking brands according to their use of social media channels and trending data. The end result? An infographic on the top 20 brands based on their real-time, and after-game social media engagement.

Super Bowl Gets Social

As reported in Mashable, “Super Bowl XLVI was the biggest social TV event on record, surpassing the 2011 MTV VMAs in terms of social media comments.” The championship game generated a whopping 12.2 million social media comments. See which companies took the lion’s share of social media ad engagement.

Super Bowl XLVI Social Media Recap

1. Coca-Cola 2. Volkswagen 3. H&M 4. Pepsi 5. Audi 6. Acura 7. Doritos 8. Honda CRV 9.  Samsung 10. Chevy 11. Bridgestone 12. Hulu 13. Toyota 14. Teleflora 15. E*TRADE 16. Bud Light 17. Hyundai 18. Century 21 19. Kia 20. Cars.com

How We Did It

There are essentially two sets of data in play – a scoring mechanism meant to grade various aspects of social inclusion, social engagement and the resulting interactions as well as a deeper analytics algorithm across several datasets including data and sentiment from Twitter, Facebook, WhatTheTrend and recent HootSuite partner, TrendSpottr.  If you are interested in what went into these models, there were a couple of great interviews posted today on adotas and MediaPost. Feel free to post questions in the comments for further clarification as well.

More To Be Done

After poring over the TV commercials, the owls at HootSuite were surprised to learn that 88% of ads made no reference to social media, opting to provide links to main sites and micro sites instead. While the majority of these websites provided links to social platforms, HootSuite felt that many of these companies didn’t use social media to its full potential.  In many cases however, it appears that the social media teams picked up the slack and started engaging around the ads and the game, building on the mentions and sentiment nicely, and in some cases, inappropriately.

As social media engagement continues to intertwine itself with broadcast television, we will continue to see a trend towards social media integrations in the future. It was only last year that Audi, became the first company to use a hashtag in a Super Bowl commercial. With the volume of social media comments streaming in and the inclusion of hashtags in more ads this year, expect to see more of a shift towards additional social media integrations for Super Bowl XLVII.


HootSuite also lent a hand to the Wall Street Journal, putting together a word cloud of Super Bowl ads trending in Twitter: Super Bowl Ads 2012

To see the ads featured in this year’s Super Bowl:
Twitter – Ad Scrimmage
YouTube – Ad Blitz

Also, be sure to check out Mashable‘s coverage of the Super Bowl ads: Brand or Celeb? Social Media Shows Who Super Bowl Ads Helped Most