How Top Brands Won with Social and Video on Super Bowl Sunday

How Top Brands Won with Social and Video on Super Bowl Sunday
February 4, 2014

Yesterday Twitter released its official recap of Super Bowl XLVIII, crowning this year’s big game as the most tweeted about Super Bowl to date, with a whopping 24.9 million tweets sent during the telecast. Twitter’s summary reported trends in everything from most mentioned players, to which moments during the big game garnered the highest volume of tweets per minute. 

The recap also gives a nod to the annually touted Super Bowl commercials, reporting that 58% of those that aired during this year’s game included a hashtag.  This underscores a continually growing trend among brands, as again this year they turned to social media to extend the life of their Super Bowl ads. 

By transforming their social presence to align with their commercial, and by capitalizing on the power of online video, brands created a multi-channel experience that enabled them to reach new audiences, and set up their commercials to take on a life of their own. 

As reflected by the statistic above, more brands than not took this approach – here’s a closer look at a few ways two top brands created an engaging ‘second screen’ experience by capitalizing on social and video.

Before the game

While many brands stayed with tradition and kept their Super Bowl commercials under wraps until the big game, a number of others pre-released their ads on YouTube, and began building an experience around the ad itself long before it aired during the game.

Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” commercial, perhaps the most well-documented example, was added to their YouTube channel prior to the game and it immediately started racking up views. With interest building around the ad, Budweiser launched the @BudweiserPuppy Twitter handle to create even more buzz leading up to, as well as during the game through the sharing of additional media (more on this in a moment).

During the game

With a social presence established prior to the game, brands were situated to then use prime time to further shape viewers’ connection with their commercial and the brand as a whole, spanning the experience from the first screen to the second screen. 

A number of brands did this by creating a hashtag for the campaign surrounding their commercial, and used it as a vehicle to continually grow the ad’s presence through additional media. Budweiser used the hashtag #BestBuds to share a variety of short-form videos, including this popular Vine:

RadioShack took a similar approach, and utilized the hashtag #InWithTheNew to give their followers a dose of nostalgia through an array of photos featuring 80s themed toys, games, and more.

RadioShack’s social presence is also a great example of how many brands unified the design and graphics on their social channels to align with the theme of their Super Bowl ads, creating a more cohesive viewing experience from screen to screen.


After the Game

Just because the Super Bowl is behind us and the Seahawks are well on their way to Disney World, it doesn’t mean brands are done capitalizing on their time in the Super Bowl spotlight – far from it!  Many brands bottled the buzz from their ad, and are now using it to fuel their social channels in the wake of the ad’s debut.

For instance, following the game, RadioShack populated their YouTube channel with a host of extended version commercials, bloopers, and spin-offs with characters and celebrities who did cameos in the original ad, like this one featuring the 80’s favorite furry alien, Alf:


While not every advertising stage can be as large as the Super Bowl, as social video trends continue to grow, look for more and more brands to supplement their TV commercials with an engaging, second screen experience. Brands will use social media and online video to give their advertising longevity, and to build a more personal, socially comprehensive connection with their audience.

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