The Friday before Super Bowl LIV, we polled the agency to see what our community thought about the upcoming spots. Our office was abuzz with both marketing and game predictions and we learned that people actually place bets on the color of the Gatorade that’s dumped on the winning coach. It’s a bet that never has good odds, but who cares, baby, it’s the BIG GAME! Anyway, we learned that and a whole lot of other things while doing some pre-game analysis about marketing’s biggest day. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here.
As an agency, we were most excited to see the Doritos, Mountain Dew and Bud Light Seltzer ads and we predicted that Budweiser, Doritos and Bud Light Seltzer would dominate social conversations. On the Saturday before the game, the brands that were leading the conversation were Microsoft, Avocados From Mexico and Budweiser and on Sunday, Microsoft and AFM held on to their leads but Budweiser fell behind Google’s tear-jerking spot. Our predictions suggest that what we’re excited about as marketers is to find out who is doing something new. Something exciting. Something that will change the status quo, and is different from what consumers expect to see. (Bud Light Seltzer being an obvious exception to this!)
Chart 1.1 – Total Mentions of Brands January 27 – February 3
On game day, Microsoft and AFM managed to capitalize on their early consumer engagement and rocketed to the top of the algorithm with their total daily mentions at 39K and 33K, respectively. In third place for mentions was Google at 23K. Note that the “Loretta” campaign did not see the same early adoption that AFM and Microsoft had, despite releasing their ad early.
As an agency, we were not interested in the AFM spot and thought it was going to get lost among all the chatter. But a strong hashtag, #avonetwork, had over 82K uses and an influencer campaign with @Momitforward really helped keep this campaign top of mind throughout the entire game. But, AFM saw an incredibly steep drop in conversation, ~96% (from 33K to a meager 1K), not even 24 hours after the game. Compared to Google, which has held on to the conversation the most with only a 48% drop. Microsoft saw a 62.5% drop.
Chart 1.2 – Total Mentions of Brands February 3
The agency predicted that Google would receive the best social sentiment score with Microsoft and Budweiser close behind. By the end of the game at 10 PM, Bud Light was leading the way with a net sentiment score of 100, with AFM close behind at 93 and Budweiser in third at 90. Almost 24 hours after the game, Budweiser scoots to the top at 97, Bud Light was at 94 and AFM at 93. It’s worth noting that Google and Microsoft have high net sentiment scores too, and that Planters really disappointed people with #babynut; its sentiment plummeted to -10.
Chart 1.3 – Net Sentiment of Brands
Although Microsoft is still dominating social conversations, we can assume that the individuals talking about the brand are maybe a little more reserved in their language compared to Budweiser and Bud Light. Looking at the sentiment drivers compared to Budweiser helps clarify the “why” here. The charts below detail key words that are driving the sentiment score for these brands. On the right are words associated with Budweiser and, on the left, Microsoft. As expected, more emotional language is being used when referencing the Budweiser ad. Of the total posts about Budweiser, 17% use emotional language compared to 11% of Microsoft mentions.
Chart 1.4 – Sentiment Drivers Budweiser
Chart 1.5 – Sentiment Drivers Microsoft
We may have fumbled our predictions about Avocados From Mexico, and also Doritos, but maybe our strategy team should’ve shared our Netbase insights with the agency before we polled them. In any case, congrats to AFM for proving us wrong with their supporting social strategy and to Microsoft for their social conversation touchdown.