Studying the impact of innovation on business and society

The 2011 Twitter Brand Bowl: And the winners are…

Super Bowl XLV is now in the history books. 2011 is the year that the Green Bay Packers reclaimed the NFL Championship. And, it is also the year that now holds the record for the most viewed television broadcast of any kind in U.S. history, attracting an audience of over 111 million viewers.

While many watched the game, it is the advertisements that spark conversations online and offline. Going back to Apple’s 1984 commercial directed by Ridley Scott that introduced the Macintosh, the Super Bowl is now as much about football as it is about the ads that support it.

At $3 million per 30 second commercial, many question the value and ROI of such an elite form of advertising. To others however, $3 million is an investment in word of mouth and legacy branding. It takes the idea of the desirable water cooler effect and amplifies it in real-time across more connected networks. Not only did 111 million people potentially view the ads during the big game, Web views, articles, blog posts, polls and studies will keep each ad alive for the months ahead. Crowd favorites on the other hand, will live on for years. Those commercials that design social hooks into the campaign can trigger conversations that extend ads across screens from TV to laptop to mobile as well as across social graphs. Progressive brands that track this activity will identify its core advocates and better understand how to convert social graphs into brand graphs as we demonstrated with Starbucks recently.

Following the Super Bowl, the big question at the center of almost every conversation is who really won the 2011 Brand Bowl. The answer is largely based on opinion and volume, but examining the activity under a social microscope is as telling as it is fascinating.

Working with the PeopleBrowsr team, we tapped the Twitter firehose to analyze the worldwide conversations around each commercial. As you’ll see, in the Brand Bowl, armchair quarterbacks and sofa referees define the big game for advertisers; an expensive game where some win and many lose.

Report Highlights:

– Brand Bowl Tweets increased 271-percent between 2010 and 2011

– Doritos received the highest number of mentions in 2010 and the third highest in 2011.

– The auto industry also represented the most social activity of all commercials in 2011 led by Chrysler, VW, and Chevrolet.

– Ads placed in the second quarter captured the most online viewing attention than other spots.

– VW’s “The Force” commercial earned the most positive sentiment.

– Groupon ads received the most negative response.

2011 Brand Bowl Highlight Reel

Between 2010 and 2011, Tweets about the advertisers in the big game spiked by 271-percent. Of course Twitter also experienced tremendous growth between the games, now accounting for ~200 million users who publish 110 million Tweets per day.

This year, the top commercial dominated the field earning 64-percent more Tweets than its closest competitor. The honor for the most mentioned brand in this year’s Brand Bowl goes to Doritos with 77.8k mentions. The Transformers 3 trailer followed with an impressive 49.6k Tweets, and drafting close behind was Chrysler with 49k Tweets.

The 2011 Top 11 Commercials by Volume:

1. Doritos – 77,799 mentions
2. Transformers 3 – 49,559
3. Chrysler – 49,079
4. Coca-Cola/Coke – 33,082
5. Volkswagen/VW – 30,050
6. Groupon – 30,011
7. Chevrolet/Chevy – 25,743
8. Captain America – 25,315
9. Sketchers – 23,859
10. Thor – 23,096
11. Pepsi Max – 18,849

If we were to measure the top ads by velocity, the Transformers 3 preview would lead the game spiking at 40,000 mentions. Chrysler’s inspirational “Imported from Detroit” spot featuring rapper Eminem ranked a close second hitting a crescendo at just under 39,000 mentions. Doritos crunched in the third spot at over 34,000 Tweets. The distance between third and fourth place is as great as the span between the second and third quarter in the big game. Sketchers ShapeUps commercial featured Kim Kardashian, which helped it peak at just over 21,000 Tweets.

The 2011 Top 10 Commercials by Velocity:

1. Transformers 3
2. Chrysler
3. Doritos
4. Sketchers
5. Thor
6. Captain America
7. Volkswagen/VW
8. Coca-Cola/Coke
9. Groupon
10. Chevrolet/Chevy
11. Pepsi Max

2010 Brand Bowl Highlights

Compared to the top 2010 ads by volume, you’ll notice that Doritos remains in the top 3 between the two years, winning the Bowl in 2010, at least where mentions are concerned. Of all the ads between 2010 and 2011 only Doritos and Coca-Cola/Coke make the top 10 lists consecutively.

The Top 10 Brands by Volume:
1. Doritos – 41,748
2. Bud Light – 15,555
3. Google AD – 12,120
4. CocaCola – 9,299
5. Budweiser – 8,067
6. Snickers – 6,945
7. GoDaddy – 5,993
8. Kia – 3,873
9. Hyundai – 2,793
10. Focus on the Family – 2,024

The 2010 Top 10 ads by Velocity:
1. Doritos
2. Bud Light
3. Budweiser
4. Google
5. Snickers
6. GoDaddy
7. Kia
8. Hyundai
9. Coca-Cola
10. Focus (on the family)

Brand Bowl 2011 vs. 2010

As mentioned earlier, the volume between the years is remarkable. The active audience is this year’s Brand Bowl was indeed engaged, representing a surge in Tweets to 387,162 total ad mentions in 2011 and 99,124 in 2010.

To put things in perspective however, if we assumed that each of the 111 million estimated viewers Tweeted once, it would represent a .035 participation level. As such, we analyzed the top 11 brands and of those mentioned, 90-percent of the Tweets were published by 44-percent of the engaged community.

The top four players in 2011 outplayed the top performers in 2010. Doritos’ 2011 appearance ranked third in overall volume of Tweets between the two years with its 2010 showing also ranking fifth. Doritos is the only 2010 representative appearing in the Top 10 comparison between the two years, with Bud Light finishing 11th.

2011 vs. 2010 Player Stats

Comparing the 2010 to 2011 year to date changes, most players experienced positive growth. Ranking based on YTD % changes, Coca-Cola is the clear winner, with conversations increasing by over 263.5-percent. Doritos led the pack in overall conversations with just under 80,000 mentions in 2011 and just over half that in 2010, growing by 88.3-percent. Kia Tweets jumped by 200-percent, reaching over 10,000 Tweets in 2011. Snickers followed in fourth growing by 79-percent. Bud Light saw a 24-percent drop in Tweets falling from 15,000 Tweets to just over 12,000.

2011 Player Sentiment

Sentiment is an elusive metric. To quantify attitudes accurately, it takes a human touch. To do so, we employed a human turked sentiment sample of 2,000 random Tweets for the Top 11 brands.

Of the top brands in 2011, Volkswagen/VW’s “The Force” campaign earned the most love reaching almost 90-percent positive reactions. Transformers 3 earned a second place standing with 77-percent positive sentiment. Movies will account for three of the top five with Captain America closely following Transformers with 74-percent positive Tweets. And, right behind Captain America is another hero, Thor hammers fourth 72-percent positive reactions. Not surprisingly, Chrysler drives into fifth place with 71-percent.

Not all Tweets are positive however. Several commercials this year earned greater negative reactions than some of the top brands earned in terms of positive sentiment. The leader here, which may come as no surprise, is Groupon with a 75-percent negative response. The ads were controversial in nature, but according to the Tweets and all intentions aside, they were also in poor taste. These ads have since been pulled from television circulation. At 47-percent, it seems that the Sketchers spots featuring Kim Kardashian stuck a sour note with viewers. Coca-Cola and Pepsi Max, while mostly positive or neutral, also realized a notable negative response.

Overall however, viewers responded positively to the 2011 Brand Bowl. An interesting observation however, 2011 negative sentiment is almost equal to the positive sentiment shared in 2010.

That about wraps our post-game analysis. We’ll see you in 2012 for the next Brand Bowl, where you define the winners and the losers just by Tweeting your honest reactions.

The PeopleBrowsr presentation is available on Slideshare

Watch the Super Bowl XLV commercials here

Image Rights: NFL

22 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “The 2011 Twitter Brand Bowl: And the winners are…”

  1. André Floyd says:

    The one additional set of information I would like to see to complete the analysis is the number of ads run for each brand. Doritos led in volume of tweets, but they also ran multiple spots during the broadcast. It would be very useful to analyze the number of tweets per 30-second ad per brand – I think this might elicit additional conclusions about effectiveness of a given brand’s investment.

  2. Brain these numbers are just mind boggling..30 sec can make your whole company identity change..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  3. David Perdew says:

    Is there any doubt now that social media influences major brands? I should think this about cements that statement. Still, there is alot of discrepancy between who can afford the commercials and who does the best job with folding social media into their television marketing strategy. As these numbers continue to climb in the next few years, that might be something worth analyzing.

  4. Great post and interesting stats.

    One amazing thing I noticed about this year’s Super Bowl was how quickly negative comments spread via social media (presumably positive reactions would also spread that fast when things are done right.)

    My wife who is a Facebook nut was giving me near instant feedback on the poor perceived performance of the Black Eyed Peas – virtually in real time.

    Two lessons here:

    1. When you have a world wide audience like the Super Bowl (or Egytpian politicians) you’ve got no place to hide in real time anymore.
    2. If your mistakes are instantly visible and “shredded” in real time…why not use social media for advance research to make sure that the “big” event goes off 100% positive.

    I’m sure advertisers for the half-time show were on the phone screaming at the organizers before the first two minutes were up.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mind boggling numbers here! This gives commercials a much longer after life buzz that can continue spiking, depending on how social media jump starts it throughout the year. I was intrigued by the player (human aspect) sentiment graph; very telling by comparison.

    Great post!

  6. Heather R says:

    what is “human turked sentiment”? does that mean a person hand codes all 2000 in your sample set?

  7. AmericansSuk says:

    I hate commercials & I hate gridiron. Headline in American newspaper was “World Champs”.
    And what other countries were particiating in this “Superbowl” pray tell? Try none? Sweet FA.

    Americans just shit me.

    • This post isn’t about liking Americans or liking “gridiron”, it is about the use of social media. I think we would all benefit if you would focus your comments on the topic. Thanks!

  8. Nice analysis, Brian. Anyone who watched the commercials during the Super Bowl and understands that Twitter is about real-time conversations that reflect what is happening right could fairly accurately predict these results. It’s like when the revolution was happening in Egypt. If you looked at what was trending on Twitter using Trendsmap, the map was covered with a cloud graph of the word Egypt. No real revelations here in terms of who got the most positive mentions and who got the most negative mentions. Nor was it much of a surprise that there were more tweets and mentions this year over last year. The adoption rate of social media continues to rise.
    What I’d like to see is some sort of comparison between brands like Old Spice and others who did not advertise during the Super Bowl. Also, some sort of comparison between these brands concerning the length of time they are being mentioned on Twitter and other social media channels. Thanks!

  9. Ruchinee says:

    This is awesome work. It shows the benefits of a FULL analysis. Yes, Sketchers and Groupons were popular brands but not in a good way. Now, if other businesses fully analyze social media like that.

  10. Ricky Yean says:

    Good & timely analysis. Thank you Brian and Peoplebrowsr.

  11. Magaret says:

    Twitter have become famous,consequentially many companies advertise their products via twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Our Mailing List

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Stay Connected