Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 | 6 min read
Throughout the night, people around the world took to social to share their responses to the action on the screen (both on the field and off). Some argued for boycotting brands that they thought took their political statements too far, others cheered on their favorite team, and many just wanted their followers to know that they were excited for the big game.
Here’s what happened on social during Super Bowl 51.
The Super Bowl pulled in 2,300,000+ mentions between 5:00 pm and midnight on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s a lot of chatter. It included conversations about the advertisers, the teams, the players, and the halftime show.
The common themes in general Super Bowl conversation included the official event hashtags (#SB51), the #pepsihalftime performance, and Lady Gaga.
Looking at the most common hashtags tells us a story about the game and how it all unfolded as well.
The top five hashtags are related to the game itself and the teams, followed by mentions of Lady Gaga, Tom Brady, and Atlanta’s beloved saying #riseup. The only advertisers to make it into the top 20 hashtag list were Pepsi and Avocados from Mexico, which isn’t shocking when we dig into our next topic – the advertisers.
The top ten brands in terms of mentions changed throughout the night, but the winning advertisers at the end of the Super Bowl were Pepsi, Avocados from Mexico, Netflix, Audi, Mr. Clean, 84 Lumber, Budweiser, T Mobile, Coca Cola, and Intel.
The three most popular brands accounted for over half of the ads related conversation (which is substantial given that we listened for 59 different advertisers).
The conversation about the Super Bowl in general was driven by men (65:35) so by extension, so were most of the ads.
The brand conversations that were dominated by women, then, are worth noting. Audi and Avocados from Mexico were the only ads from the ten most popular for which women held a greater share of voice on social. It makes sense for Audi, whose ad was pushing for equal rights for women and a more hopeful future for the daughters of our country, but for Avocados from Mexico it’s not as readily apparent why that might be the case.
By the end of the game, the Patriots had not only won the game, they’d also won the social conversation. Just like the game, however, there was a time when it wasn’t clear if the Pats would reign supreme.
The Falcons held the lead through halftime, which led them to win the social conversation as well – for a little while, at least.
By the time the Patriots started coming back on the field, the social conversation surrounding the team was greater than that surrounding the Falcons.
Sentiment for both teams was more positive than negative, though proportionally conversation around the Patriots was more positive – likely due to the influx of cheerful tweets in celebration of their historic win.
The social activity around the Super Bowl mirrored what was happening in real time for both advertisers and teams. As ads ran, social conversation around the brands bounded, and as the Patriots started winning, positive conversation around the team flourished.
Social conversation around major events is an opportunity for people and brands alike. It’s a chance to join those discussing things that you care about, an excuse to contribute to the conversation, and an opportunity to embrace the easier-than-ever method of connection that is social media.
We pulled in data from 5:00 pm – 11:59 pm on February 5th 2017, listening for mentions of the major advertisers (59 in total), as well as the halftime performance, teams, and general Super Bowl conversation. For this study, we used core listening with particular focus on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube.