As I sat down to watch the Super Bowl this past Sunday, of course I had my smartphone by my side, just as eager to follow the Twitter buzz as I was to cheer the Seahawks on to victory. This year’s Super Bowl did not disappoint – not only for the game itself but for the ads as well which racked in 24.9 million tweets during the big game. Superbowl XLVIII saw a record number of commercials using hashtags, with 57% of ads including one, up from 50% just last year.
Twitter users were on point during the Super Bowl. From the #oops of the first play to the #champions at the end, the hashtags just kept coming throughout the game and commercial breaks. During the advertisements, I found myself waiting in anticipation to see what hashtags the companies would be using in their commercials. Among my personal favorites were Budweiser’s #BestBuds and Coke’s #AmericaIsBeautiful.
Twitter users also witnessed a noteworthy PR move by retailer JC Penny during the course of the Superbowl. At first, it seemed as though the company’s feed had been hacked or that the user had a few too many beers as the posts were chock full of typos. After drawing a significant number of retweets and even other brands tweeting @jcpenny offering #doritos or a designated driver, it was revealed that JC Penny was in fact not drunk tweeting. Rather, they were tweeting with mittens to promote the new Go USA mittens, in honor of the upcoming Winter Olympics.
Esurance may have come away as last Sunday’s Twitter winner with its advertisement featuring John Kransinski, which promised to give away $1.5 million (the money that the company saved by airing the ad after the game) to one lucky person who tweeted with the hashtag #EsuraceSave30. The auto insurance company received over 2.1 million tweets, with 200,000 of those coming in the first minute after the ad aired. While Esurance did have to sift through its fair share of off-color tweets as entries, the company nonetheless dominated Twitter traffic and increased its account’s followers by 90,000.
Esurance may be declared the winner of this year’s “Twitter Bowl,” but other companies finished close behind and definitely stepped up their game from last year. Ever since Oreo’s timely, “you can still dunk in the dark” tweet in response to the third quarter power outage in last year’s Bowl, companies are becoming increasingly aware of the tremendous reach and power of Twitter. Nowadays, we are in touch with real time on social media through our mobile devices, and the brands that are mastering that are succeeding in the advertising game of this day and age. Although the NFL season has come to a close this year, we wait in anticipation until next year for the teams to face off both on the field and on our Twitter feeds.