Every year, the first question you hear the morning after the Super Bowl is generally not “what did you think of the game?,” but rather “what did you think of the ads?” So, what was it about the commercials, particularly those shown in advance of the game this year, that grabbed viewers’ attention?
In reviewing the dashboard below, we see that Samsung came into the picture relatively late in the game on January 31 (see orange line on the Buzz Timeline). Also, Samsung was in the number 1 position for sponsor buzz (light blue bar on the bar chart on the left hand size with the largest reach represented by the black bar on the left hand bar chart). So, how did that map to sentiment? Samsung had one of the highest net positive-to-negative ratios of all the sponsors (as seen in the sentiment chart), but Audi had the highest positive-to-negative ratios.
Before we dig deeper into sentiment, it is worth noting that Mercedes Benz had a significantly higher non-microblog campaign (as represented by the white bar chart on the left hand bar chart) than any of the other sponsors. It is also interesting to see how much broader (relatively speaking) SodaStream’s Twitter reach was, compared to the other vendors.
If we had to summarize where the teaser ads slipped up, it would seem that racial and sexual objectifications were the dominant themes, as seen with Volkswagen, Coca Cola, Go Daddy and Mercedes Benz, respectively.
In some cases, the teasers (see charts on the left hand side above) were considered funny and more engaging than the full commercial. Samsung is a case in point here. As seen with our analysis of sentiment during the game, detractors questioned whether people would find the humor in the concept of devising commercials (e.g., Samsung).
So, how did things change during the game? Let’s start by looking at the buzz over time for the top 20 sponsors. You can see below that Calvin Klein came in strong early on. There were plenty of jokes about men needing to diet, as well as celebrities joking that they were the model (Piers Morgan, for one!). There were a number of peaks that are characterized with annotations below. The ad that seemed to linger throughout was the Go Daddy commercial. It seems that viewers couldn’t quite get the “kiss” out of their minds.
Dodge Ram was not previously part of the pre-game teasers, but came in strong during the last quarter of the game. In terms of ad sentiment, though, Doritos won hands down (see dashboard below).
We lumped Budweiser in with Black Crown, which can be decoupled. Black Crown was not well received at all, accounting for all of the Budweiser negativity. The Budweiser Clydesdale ad, however, reduced people to tears:
Go Daddy appears to be the loser in the stack, mostly for the gross-out factor. But, ultimately people will remember the ad and presumably the brand – which is more than you can say for the underwhelming Blackberry ad:
Curiously for Volkswagen (relatively speaking), the talk about the ad as possibly being racist completely died down. Meanwhile, fellow German auto company Audi could do no wrong. Incidentally, sometimes the articles will talk about more than one ad, so that is represented within the sentiment bar charts.
It seems that SodaStream did reasonably well. They had to modify their ad somewhat, but it led them to a largely positive outcome. SodaStream was trending because some people objected to CBS’s rejection of the original ad. Some of the distinct competitive advantages came through, such as being environmentally friendly in contrast to bottles of soda giants Pepsi and Coke.
The aforementioned Dodge Ram ad was extremely well-received, with words like “thank you Dodge” and that the ad was “masterful.”
As time goes by, the true test in the success of the ad campaigns will be to look at the degree to which any of these commercials have motivated the viewers to buy the products. But, our above analysis certainly gives an early indicator!