Over the last 20 years the Super Bowl has transcended football, becoming a venue where big brands showcase some of the hottest trends in advertising. No longer are Super Bowl ad’s “filler time” in between breaks. Commercials that are unveiled during the game are as much a subject of anticipation and speculation as the game itself.

According to TNS Media over $1.84 billion dollars has been spent by 200 different advertisers in the last twenty years.

Super Bowl XLVI, was monumental this year, for several reasons.

  • According to Nielsen the super bowl drew over 166.8 million viewers for the top spot in the record books.
  • It was the first year that social media was integrated with ad campaigns. In fact, the Super Bowl created a “social media command center” to monitoring the digital conversation.
  • Two Super Bowl moments broke Twitter records.
  • NBC, the network carrying Super Bowl XLVI in the United States, sold all of the advertising spots during the game by Thanksgiving 2011. Each thirty second spot sold for an average of $3.5 million setting a new record for Super Bowl ads.

With all of the buzz surrounding this year’s Super Bowl, I wanted create a visualization that showed the total Tweets and total Tweets per brand/tag during the Super Bowl. Then, I wanted to track this data and see the effect on those brands as time passed.

Here are some notable things I learned:

  1. As I expected, the Twitter discussion dropped off over the course of several days. However, I did not expect it to drop off so dramatically.
  2. Some of my favorite commercials didn't fare so well either. The #ClintEastwood commercial, which ran at halftime and which I considered truly inspiring, started strong out of the gate, but quickly faded.
  3. #HereWeGo the Bud Light rescue dog which got a lot of media attention has has been consistent over the last several days, but it didn't start as strong as the #ClintEastwood commercial.

Check out the viz and let me know what you find out and/or learn.

*A couple of things to note: This analysis is in no way scientific; it is based on our integration with the Twitter API which caps out at 6K Tweets per hour. In addition, I did my best to capture as many brands and #hashtags as I could, but not all are represented. I had to sit with my laptop feverishly entering tags/brands as they were unveiled. Unfortunately, over a five hour period I missed some. :)

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On a side note -
Some of my favorite ad's of all time include:

  • The Budweiser frogs commercial originally released during Super Bowl XXIX in 1995. They are part of one of the most well known Budweiser ad campaigns in history.
  • The infamous Bud Bowl was a stop motion animated ad campaign that first aired during Super Bowl XXIII in 1989. It featured celebrity voice-overs and included parodies from the current year’s football games.
  • Herding Cats in the prairie was a commercial brought to you by EDS during Super Bowl XLV in 2010. The commercial was an instant hit.
  • In my opinion one of the most prolific ads was Apple’s rendition of 1984. It was aired on January 22, 1984 during Super Bowl XVIII. Today, this ad is considered one of the most influential of all time winning critical acclaim and numerous prizes.
  • Finally, my all time favorite ad is McDonalds “The Showdown” which featured Jordan and Bird playing horse for a BigMac. This ad first aired during Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. I remember as a kid, playing basketball with my friends and shouting “Nothing but net!” for years after this commercial.

We were impressed by the game, the commercials- not so much. In fact your Tableau viz is
probably more interesting than 80% of the commercials during the Super Bowl this year. Nice insight, nice job.
Alex, USEReady.com

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