The brand winners and losers of Super Bowl LI
It was the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history and the first Super Bowl to go into overtime. But for as unpredictable as the action on the field was, the attendant advertising felt a bit familiar
Advertisers shelled out as much as $5 million for 30 seconds of screentime time during this year’s big game, according to ad-tracker Kantar Media. But official sponsors weren’t alone in trying to nab some attention: Countless other brands also tried to cash in on an highly-engaged second screen audience on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and, most importantly, Twitter.
As the night wraps up, here are our picks for winners and losers of Super Bowl LI.
No one saw it coming. But those that did got some major yardage for their buck: The New England Patriots fought back from behind to swipe the Lombardi trophy from Atlanta’s clutches. But they weren’t the only winners. Advertisers like SoFi, which bought over-time ads, also had a huge night.
— Joanne Bradford (@sfjoanne) February 6, 2017
Budweiser’s “Born The Hard Way” spot, chronicling the immigration story of its founder Adolphus Busch struck a chord, coming as it did just days after President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. It was ahead of all competitors in terms of pre-game buzz, according to iSpot.tv’s Digital Share of Voice rankings, a weighted measure that takes into account all earned actions across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and search engines.
As of Sunday morning, the spot had already generated 14.3 million earned online views and 235,000 mentions across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube combined with unique search engine inquiries. The spot has also garnered more than 7 million Facebook views, half of them (nearly 47 percent) eliciting the “love” reaction according to Canvs, an emotion analytics company.
Brands celebrating diversity
Several other brands went the Budweiser route, including Airbnb, Coca-Cola and Audi. Airbnb released its politically-charged spot “#WeAccept” and took a strong stance on togetherness and inclusivity. Coca-Cola threaded the needle on immigration, bringing back its multilingual rendition of “America the Beautiful” from 2014’s Super Bowl. Audi, meanwhile, took a stand on equal pay.
Airbnb also pushed out tweets to amplify its commercial in real time, including one by co-founder Brian Chesk, who also announced via Twitter that the company is going to contribute $4 million over four years to the refugee nonprofit International Rescue Committee “to support critical needs of displaced populations globally.” The tweet was retweeted 1,159 times and garnered 1,240 likes within two minutes of being posted. Together, Airbnb and Coca-Cola generated the most number of tweets until the first half, with 33,700 tweets and 32,100 tweets each.
— Airbnb (@Airbnb) February 6, 2017
Construction brand 84 Lumber’s spot depicted an emigrating Mexican mother and daughter, and encouraged viewers to see the conclusion of their story online. It created so much buzz that the microsite was actually down in the minutes immediately after the spot aired.
All the real-time brand action went down on Twitter and Facebook got a special shoutout during the Fox halftime social segment. But a third platform came out ahead: Snapchat ran three sponsored lens filters this Super Bowl for Gatorade, Pepsi and the Falcons and Patriots. Each of these Super Bowl lenses costs somewhere between $400,000 and $600,000, and can lead to anywhere from 7 million to 20 million plays, according to Snapchat. That’s not all: Snapchat has also landed sponsors with vertical video ads, including brands like Anheuser-Busch.
A little throwback never hurt anyone, and 16 Handles had its Twitter game on point with this cute ode to “Left Shark” from Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.
remember when pic.twitter.com/KN4qSgRmLI
— 16 Handles (@16Handles) February 5, 2017
Gatorade gets no points for originality. The beverage brand reprised an old Snapchat sponsored lens in a new bottle, letting users superimpose a flood of Gatorade over their video selfies with a few new updates. The filter generated 165 million impressions last year, according to the brand, with Serena Williams and a handful of other celebrities using it. Effective, maybe, but hardly innovative or interesting.
Brands tweeting at other brands is no longer cute. These days, almost every brand seems to be winking at another one. Super Bowl LI was no different, with social media and community managers from brands like Kia, GoDaddy and Avocados from Mexico spending majority of their time crafting flirty and congratulatory tweets for other brands. This trend should have died last year.
— Avocados From Mexico (@AvosfromMexico) February 6, 2017
Wix.com was leading the tally in terms of views for its Super Bowl spot right until the morning of the big game, when Budweiser took the lead. Its “Disruptive World” spot had racked up over 20 million Facebook views, and generated an additional 6.1 million earned online views. But the brand went overboard — and frankly seemed desperate — with its social media push including tweets like the one below.
— Wix.com (@Wix) February 6, 2017
It was supposed to be a funny play on a classic nursery rhyme. But it was just gross. TurboTax tried to show that its app is so easy to use, that you can use it from anywhere. But the oozing yolk wounds were frankly nauseating. And in a political climate where millions of people are unsure of the fate of their healthcare, the ad was unsettling for the wrong reasons.
‘It’s really just like a catalog’: Overheard at the Digiday Media Marketplace Strategies Forum
Top concerns expressed included navigating selling on a multitude of new marketplaces and maintaining brand equity in the face of third-party sellers
The Rundown: Facebook recommends spending your way through its measurement problems
Facebook estimates that it is under-counting conversions from iOS devices by about 15%.
‘Create cultural touchstone moments’: Why this direct-to-consumer shoe brand added sabbaticals for employees this year
A Salt Lake City, Utah-based company is one of a number of employers looking for new ways to engage employees and foster office culture despite the continued work from home environment due to the Delta variant.
SponsoredHow retailers can be ready for holiday shoppers this year
Suchi Sastri, managing director and partner, Boston Consulting Group As the holiday season approaches and the pandemic continues to evolve, retailers want to know what to expect. Will e-commerce continue to grow at the rate it did last year? How big of a role will in-store shopping play in holiday shopping? While it’s still early, […]
The definitive Digiday guide to what’s in and out in the privacy conversation this year
The race against the loss of the third-party cookie has created a slew of competitors. Here is Digiday's guide to who is in and out.
How the new CEO of the IAB Tech Lab plans to support a responsible digital ad ecosystem
Anthony Katsur is only weeks into his new role as the CEO of the IAB Tech Lab, but already has big plans for what he wants to do at the organization.