Super Bowl LV: What's happening on social media
Monday, February 8th, 2021
Just like that, there’s no more football until at least August. For NFL fans, the draft in April is the only highlight coming up on the calendar. For marketers, there’s a wealth of data to unpack about the Super Bowl, and we’re here to make sense of it.
The winning ad of the night was Drake from State Farm.
Social media audiences loved Drake’s cameo behind Jake, the well-known pitchman for the insurer. State Farm has received 49K mentions on social media so far, and that’s generated 300K engagements.
That's the most of any brand that advertised in the Super Bowl this year.
It was a night of ads filled with nostalgia, with humor, and with a unifying message.
Digging in to the sentiment surrounding these ads we can see that Frito-Lay scored a couple of winners with their #FlatMatthew Doritos commercial, and bringing in Shaggy for their Cheetos spot. These ads scored some of the most positive sentiment of the night.
On the other hand, Uber Eats message to support local restaurants was a bit of a fumble. Some of the most engaging conversations around this ad had to do with the Uber Eats fee structure for their client restaurants.
The social media Xs and Os
For the second year in a row this humble Talkwalker blog has correctly predicted the Super Bowl winner. No, this is not a victory lap. It’s an attestation to trust the data before you, and use it to make clear-eyed predictions about what you see.
During the game Tampa Bay had 80% of all mentions, or 1.6M. Kansas City accounted for only 400K mentions. While volume doesn’t tell the whole story, sentiment does. The net sentiment for each team makes it pretty clear who fans expected to win, and the result bore out their hunches.
Fan sentiment can accurately predict some pretty amazing things.
Win the Big One, or win the two weeks beforehand?
That does seem to be the prudent question on the mind of every brand.
Avocados from Mexico is a regular Super Bowl advertiser who decided to sit out the big game this year. Instead they launched a social media sweepstakes where fans can win cool avocado-themed prizes. And then they hit reply-all.
Avocados from Mexico was easily the most engaging brand in the two weeks leading up to the game this year. They replied to every single entrant into their contest, and not just with a simple “thank you for entering” message. They had a variety of messages to share with contestants, and on social media they were ubiquitous in the week leading up to the game.
But the portion of people paying attention to the Super Bowl ads before the game begins is miniscule compared to the numbers who watch the game itself. While it was certainly cheaper than running a Big Game spot, did Avocados from Mexico still manage to make itself felt on gameday?
Avocados from Mexico generated 6K mentions yesterday (or perhaps more accurately, 6K contest entrances). Those mentions only generated 1K engagement however. So for every 6 people who entered this contest yesterday, to whom @AvosfromMexico replied, only 1 would go on to like the reply or comment on it.
Compared to the previous weeks, this is a failure. But only on the face of it.
Over the last two weeks Avocados from Mexico has generated over 100K mentions on social media. That's 5x as many as the next brands, and those were brands teasing their ads for the game.
According to Wikipedia approximately 3,600 tons of avocados were consumed yesterday. Reaching those fans in the middle of the game, to tell them about the key ingredient in guacamole feels a little late.
Love guac 🥑 and 🏈? Don’t miss out on all things Big Game related and delicious guac at our Information Center. Stock up on avocados before the Big Day! And RT RT RT. You could win $1M! #GuacFromMexico #GuacFood #SBLV #Sweepstakes https://t.co/G9awB6HwQz— Avocados From Mexico (@AvosFromMexico) February 7, 2021
Considering the Super Bowl is the singular event on the avocado calendar (Sorry July 31st, National Avocado Day - you just don’t hold a candle to the Super Bowl), perhaps it was wise to reach fans in the food-planning stages of this event, and not in the middle of it.
I suppose only time will tell if Avocados from Mexico reached their goal of increasing avocado consumption, but my guess is that for other consumables, for CPGs, for commodities like avocados, the non-televised promotion before the Super Bowl may start to look more and more like a bargain in years to come.
The last week of January and the first week of February will continue to be a special time period where brands can flaunt their stuff more flagrantly than normal. It will continue to be a time reserved for advertisements. My hunch is we’ll see more of that from more brands in the future.
Thursday, February 4th, 2021
With just a few days to go before kickoff the excitement on social media is building for Super Bowl LV. Total mentions across social media and the digital media landscape stand at 3 million.
Verizon is the brand that’s received the most mentions so far. The highest positive sentiment is reserved for health care workers who will be attending the game for free.
The teams and fan sentiment on social media
Tampa Bay has nearly twice as many mentions as Kansas City heading into the weekend.
With over 820K mentions, Tampa Bay is looking strong on social media.
Sentiment can be one of the most powerful predictors of events on social media. Last year we used it to predict a Kansas City Chiefs victory in the game. What can sentiment from the fanbases tell us about this year’s matchup?
Fan sentiment shows us which fanbase has momentum heading into the matchup.
Sentiment amongst these fanbases tells an interesting story. Kansas City fans have steadily been more hopeful and excited about their team’s prospects to defend their title than Tampa Bay, with some exceptions. Kansas City’s net sentiment sits at nearly 50%, while the Buccaneers are at only 36%.
Considering this is Tampa Bay’s first Super Bowl in nearly 20 years, and they’re helmed by the superlative player in this game, one might expect this number to be higher. Tampa Bay has nearly twice as many mentions as Kansas City over the last two weeks, so that number may be depressing the sentiment some. Who does the data back?
THE TALKWALKER PICK: Tampa Bay. While Kansas City’s fan sentiment is encouraging, and Patrick Mahomes has played in a Super Bowl in 50% (2x) of his NFL seasons, you simply can’t ignore historical trends for short term anomalies. Tom Brady has played in a Super Bowl in 10 out of his 21 seasons (47%!). He has the home-town advantage. His Buccaneers have the social media volume too.
THIS IS NOT GAMBLING ADVICE. ANY INFERENCES DRAWN FROM THE DATA ABOVE ARE PURELY AS A THOUGHT EXERCISE AND SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR BETTING.
The Super Bowl Ads
The most important part of any Super Bowl, the part that makes the whole thing go round is the ads.
Brands pay over $5 million for a 30 second spot, and they have to make sure it’s not wasted. In the two weeks before the game, brands often build hype for their campaigns by releasing teasers or mysterious hashtags.
Success in this stage can amplify a Super Bowl spot, generating excitement for the moment when it premieres on Sunday night. What we witnessed last year though is that it can also have an important effect on brand recall.
Hard Rock’s iconic ad featuring Jennifer Lopez and a bevy of other celebrities resonated the longest of all the Super Bowl ads we tracked last year.
People were still talking about this ad in April last year. April!
Below you’ll find a look at some of the top performers over these previous two weeks. Each of these brands is well positioned to make the most of their spot on Sunday.
Avocados from Mexico has received over 74K mentions, and they're not even releasing a spot this year.
Only time will tell if Avocados from Mexico's absence from the game will be felt on Sunday, but it would certainly appear not.
They are the most mentioned brand on social media in the lead up to Super Bowl LV. They are pursuing an interesting, and creative strategy which we'll unpack more on Monday.
Meanwhile, keep smashing that 🥑 button, it's already been recorded over 30K times on social.
Most Mentions in a single day
Verizon's one day total mentions of 33K was more than any other brand before the Super Bowl this year.
Highest Net Sentiment for a Brand
Scott's Miracle-Gro is a newcomer to Super Bowl advertising, and they're not wasting any time winning fans.
Most Engaging Brand
Over 1 million engagements for Budweiser, and ABinBev brands scored 36% of ALL social media engagements.
Take all these numbers with a grain of salt. The big event hasn't happened yet! Let’s see if any of these brands can keep their top positions during the game itself, or if the other ads that will appear in the big game will move these ones from their top spot.
Check back here Monday for a post-game wrap-up.
Monday, January 25th, 2021
Just like that, the final pieces of the Super Bowl puzzle have fallen into place, and Super Bowl LV is all set to take place in Tampa on Sunday, February 7th. The Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes will meet Tom Brady leading the hometown Buccaneers in the Big One, with a chance to raise the Lombardi Trophy on the line.
Like last year, Talkwalker will be sharing the social media hype around this year’s teams, their fans, the foods, and naturally, the ad campaigns.
Check back here before the game for an update on what’s happening on social media.
LONDON, Jan. 28, 2091— Tom Brady, the 113-year-old quarterback for the London Knights, advanced to his 32nd career Super Bowl with a 27-21 win over the Miami Dolphins. The game-winning score was caught by John Welker, the great-grandson of Brady's former teammate, Wes Welker.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) January 24, 2021
The Super Bowl is also, it turns out, the Super Bowl of ads. It is the biggest stage an ad can compete on. Though the competition is ferocious, winners have the chance to be uttered and recalled across pop culture for decades to come.
At no other time on the calendar do advertisers have the rapt attention of such a huge chunk of the public. Millions of people across the country, and around the globe, tune in expressly to see the ads.
A Super Bowl ad is a parade ground for new brands to announce their arrival on the scene. It’s also a chance for brands to build upon their cultural cachet. Any brand that can afford a spot deserves its share of plaudits, but only a few ads get remembered and lauded.
This year is different
NFL announced that Super Bowl LV in Tampa will host 22,000 fans — 7,500 of which will be vaccinated healthcare workers being given free tickets to the game.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 22, 2021
The NFL does plan to admit fans, though using the power of corporate sponsorship, the customer experience will be cashless for the first time ever. That’s probably not too concerning to advertisers, who never really counted on game-day operations at the stadium to contribute significantly to their success. At least not as much as the inherent danger that gathering in small groups indoors for several hours poses to the general public now.
What’s a brand to do? Well, as Marketing Dive reports, many are opting “to sit this one out”. I’d like to see one really use sports lingo and tell Coach they’re volunteering to “ride the pine” this year.
Some brands are planning to do other activities online around the game, trying to go it alone on a social media campaign without the anchor of a Super Bowl spot to ensure the eyeballs.
Many brands are proceeding anyway, one brand’s hesitancy is another’s opportunity.
Avocados From Mexico isn't in the game this year, but they are busy replying to everyone on social media.
The weeks leading up to the game is a chance for the teams and their fans to soak in the glory of the moment, sure. For the brands it’s a much more crucial time, the time to build the hype for their upcoming spot through campaigns that build into a roar come game-time. The best place to see that in action is on social media. How many of Talkwalker's 2021 Social Media Trends can you spot in this year's ads?
Chobani has released their spot already this year, hoping to build hype before the game.
Arguably, social media is the only safe place for a brand this year.
Whatever happens, Talkwalker will be here to track it all. Last year we took a look at the top ads on social media, the most popular foods, and we even used fan sentiment on social media to make some accurate picks about the outcome.
Check back here before the game for an update on the all-important two-week pre-game hyphen-laden rehearsal period as brands social media campaigns tease out their ads before the game. Then, come back after the game to digest all the ads this year with our Super Bowl report.