Super Bowl 2012 Ads Visualized

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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