5 Super Bowl LVIII takeaways for marketers

As the Kansas City Chiefs mounted a late-game charge to become repeat champions (three titles in five years!), Super Bowl LVIII proved to be a victory for fans, brands and the city of Las Vegas. Digital channels provided more options for audiences to engage with the Big Game, including an inventive stream on Nickelodeon called by SpongeBob SquarePants and friends. Brands leveraged the record-breaking viewership (123.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen) to launch campaigns and game-day promotions. Celebrities took the opportunity to grow their personal brands.

Here are some of the results from the game that marketers can take note of for the year ahead, including social media winners and top-performing brands.

Dig deeper: Super Bowl commercials and strategies to watch

Brands gain positive sentiment on social

Social media buzz is a great way for consumer brands to gauge how their marketing efforts land with audiences. (B2B brands like Salesforce also listen closely to social media.)

The influencer marketing platform Influential measured positive sentiment for the Super Bowl’s participating brands and celebrities and found that the most positive vibes came from Oreo’s “Twist on it” ad. The company also determined that while Usher’s halftime show garnered 65% positive sentiment on social, it was 10 points less than the wildly popular Rihanna performance a year ago, which scored 75% approval.

Here are the 10 brands that scored highest in social media sentiment with their ads, according to Influential:

Oreo, “Twist on it.”
Disney+, “Well Said.”
NYX Cosmetics, “Duck Plump.”
CeraVe, “Michael CeraVe.”
Mountain Dew, “Having a Blast.”
Verizon, “Beyonce.”
Google Pixel, “Javier In Frame.”
State Farm, “Twins Reunion.”
BMW, “Christopher Walken.”
Squarespace, “Hello Down There.”

Although five other brands gained higher positive sentiment than Verizon’s spot, Verizon’s star, Beyonce led social media with the most mentions. Here are the top five celebrities, including a sentimental favorite, actor Carl Weathers, who died just weeks before the big game.

Image: Influential Market Intelligence.

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Social media marketing increased significantly in only a year. Super Bowl-related social media activity more than doubled year-over-year, according to social listening platform Sprinklr.

This year, in the week leading up to the big game, there was a defined cadence with a clear uptick toward the second half of the week leading into Super Bowl Sunday.

Image: Sprinklr.

Here are the top hashtags used by social media marketers from Jan 1 through Feb 13, 2024, according to Sprinklr.

Image: Sprinklr.

This year there were more ways to watch the game on streaming than in previous years. And advertisers stepped up to get in front of these audiences. Media and entertainment brands (including gambling services like BetMGM) led the field with 17% of ad air time, according to ad sales intelligence company MediaRadar. Technology brands came in second at 15%.

Here’s the breakdown of the rest of the field.

Being close to the action pays off

Celebrities and brands proved the Super Bowl was still a vital springboard for gaining cultural awareness. Taylor Swift captured nearly as many social media Super Bowl-related conversations (11%) as all the TV ads combined (12%), according to Influential.

Rising star Ice Spice kept close to Swift throughout the game, which no doubt led to more recognition for soft drink brand Starry, which featured the Bronx-born artist in their ad.

Beyonce’s presence at the game boosted the ad for Verizon she starred in, as well as buzz about her forthcoming album.

“In the past 24 hours, we’ve seen advertisers maximizing the impact of their advertising campaigns during the event via social channels — many have created a number of additional assets as part of their campaigns, transforming and optimizing them to work hard across all relevant platforms,” Steve Vinall, global director of brand and communications for digital asset management platform Bynder, told MarTech. “In Verizon’s case, Beyonce’s Instagram page was the vehicle chosen to reveal a country album and two readily available songs. Going viral almost instantly, this ensured anyone who hadn’t watched the game also knew of the announcement.

In less than 24 hours, searches for Beyonce have skyrocketed 469% and both videos on her Instagram have 30 million views each, Vinall added.

Beer brands lag as soft drinks take over

Where’s the beer? The number of alcoholic brands dropped from nine last year to only four this year — AB InBev’s Michelob Ultra, Bud Light, and Budweiser, and Molson Coors’ Coors Light were featured in ads. Budweiser’s nostalgic Clydesdales spot showed the most engagement, according to ad intelligence company EDO, which generated 84% more engagement for the Clydesdales spot than the Super Bowl ad median.

In the non-alcoholic beverage camp, prebiotic soft drink newcomer Poppi led its peers with the evening’s fourth most engaging ad, according to EDO. Starry and Mountain Dew’s revived Baja Blast brand each generated more than twice as much engagement as the median Super Bowl ad.

EDO’s top five most engaging ads were:

Deadpool & Wolverine (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures), generated +2,243% as much engagement as the median-performing Super Bowl LVIII in-game ad. 
Wicked: Part One (Universal Pictures), +2,008%
Volkswagen, “An American Love Story”, +1,594%
Poppi, “The Future of Soda is now,” +1,561%
Temu, “Billionaire,” +1,342%

Marketers will no doubt take some of these learnings to Paris for this summer’s Olympics.

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