With nearly 100 million viewers, Super Bowl LIV saw the first year to year increase in over 5 years. As expected, brands showed up to get in on the big game action. from comedy to cameos and some heartwarming moments sprinkled in between, below we examine how social media publishers partnered with the NFL, and considered a few of the more memorable commercials.
How did Social Platforms Partner with the NFL?
Facebook celebrated the game by adding in new NFL-official Messenger filters and stickers. Examples included an “Endzone filter” which allowed fans to send quick messages as if they were a geared up Wide Receiver scoring a touchdown.
Snapchat’s Super Bowl features included a Marker Lens, celebrating the 100th year of the NFL’s existence. Snapchat also released an image-recognition based Lens, which allowed users to scan certain images (i.e. the NFL logo) unlocking hidden Super Bowl content.
For weeks before the game, Twitter aggregated all tweets containing the hashtag #NFLTwitter, and printed fans tweets on the victory confetti that fell from the rafters as the game ended. It’s a great way to marry Twitter with the celebration of the game and allows fans to feel even more connected to the event. Off the field, Twitter continued support of their “Brand Bowl 54”, which allowed aggregates all of the best tweets related to the game’s advertisers and analyze which brand had the most success across specific categories, notably #FanFavorite, which showed the highest overall positivity among brands partaking in the Super Bowl conversation.
Our Favorite: Google’s ‘Loretta’
Although people tend to remember the more humorous Super Bowl ads, emotion is also a powerful marketing tool and when done correctly, can have amazing effects on a consumer’s perception of a company. Google’s ad “Loretta” hit that perfect note. The ad featured an elderly man as he used Google to reflect on some happy life moments he shared with his now departed wife, Loretta. The ad works on several levels, demonstrating the ease of use, and illustrating how Google’s voice technologies can aid consumers of any age. The ad finds a perfect balance between Google’s future technology while hitting a heart-warming nostalgia that makes the ad instantly endearing and well received.
Missed the Mark: Tom Brady’s Big Announcement
Hulu’s Super Bowl stunt is likely the most divisive so far this year. After three straight Super Bowl years dominated by media of Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady, it appeared we would finally be getting a Bradyless Super Bowl. Hulu didn’t like that idea. Days before the game, Brady posted a cryptic caption-less photo of his silhouette as he enters an empty black and white stadium. The strange post inflamed the rumor-mill with questions of his potential retirement. It was revealed during the game that this was all just a media stunt to promote Hulu’s live sports offering. While the ad did generate awareness, the retirement fake-out left a bad taste in many viewers’ mouths.
Best Use of Social: Olay’s #MakeSpaceForWomen
Olay’s “Make Space for Women” featured Busy Phillips, Lilly Singh, and astronaut Nicole Stott blasting off to space to answer the question “Is there enough space in space for women?”. The ad is funny and Katie Couric gives a great eye-roll, but Olay then commits to donating $1 for every Retweet their Olay tweet receives, raising up to $500,000 to the non-profit Girls Who Code. It’s a wonderful tie-in to the campaign and shows the company is pushing to get young women interested in male-dominated careers.
With the increase in viewership this year, and the number of conversations happening around the game and the advertising, we’re happy to see that the Super Bowl is still a favorite destination for marketers’ humor and creativity. As viewers continue to discuss the game online or share memes from the Half-Time Show, social media will remain a close companion to the NFL’s biggest game.