Posted February 4, 2013 8:24 am by with 8 comments

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Yesterday, many of us took part in the annual event that unites nearly everyone around football whether they are a fan or not. We have another Super Bowl in the books and a couple of things to consider.

  • The Silicon Valley finally didn’t get what it wants since the 49ers lost.
  • Baltimore (Charm City) gave the elder Harbaugh brother bragging rights at every family dinner until the end of time.
  • Social media was humming about ads and blackouts and actual football plays but had mixed results in the Super Bowl ads department.

Matt McGee did an excellent job of tracking social media mentions in Super Bowl ads over at Marketing Land. His chart sums it up nicely.


So what does this tells us? Quite a bit actually.

  • Twitter is clearly what advertisers view as the best way to tie TV and brands together. Twitter mentions in ads were up over 300% from last year’s game while Facebook mentions in ads were OFF by 50%. Sorry Google+, no love for you at all.
  • Even with all the hype advertisers seem to be extremely cautious about how they present their brands’ social presence in TV advertising. Are they afraid to distract from the message? What better time than the Super Bowl to get people to at least THINK about a Facebook presence or even Google+. Honestly, I don’t get it but that may just be me.
  • The ‘what’s happening now’ tenor of Twitter appears to be the gateway for most to help combine the worlds of TV and social media. I personally stayed away from Twitter because it can be distracting to someone like myself who really loves football. For me it’s ‘game first, ads and other stuff a distant second’. That’s not to say I didn’t use social media during the game. Rather than be in the rapids of Twitter I decided to stay in the relatively calm waters of more casual exchanges with a few friends via Facebook.

Now having said all of that, I have to wonder why so many advertisers avoided promoting their Facebook presence and there was even a 50% drop from last year? I think this says quite a bit about Facebook and its place in the social media landscape. Forget Google+. While I think it’s a tremendous platform for a variety of things (most are productivity related) it’s not a true social network and it not intended to be. Or if it is, Google is doing a terrible job of promoting it as such.

Facebook’s performance yesterday may have exposed a weakness of Facebook but it’s not the kind of thing that should alert the press and start to trumpet the end of Facebook as we know it. I suspect Facebook’s strength will be the ability of people to continue to talk about ads etc in the post game part of the advertising play. It’s this use of the social network that makes me scratch my head as to why brands seem reticent to promote their Facebook presence in their TV spots.

So what’s your take? Is Twitter the best way to mix TV and social? Is this kind of dismissal of sorts of Facebook a signal to the social media big boy? Personally I can’t make up my mind. One thing I can say is that we learned something from yesterday’s Super Bowl ads and that is that for now, Twitter and TV are BFF’s.

What’s your take?

  • On TV, Twitter is an easier connection than Facebook. Twitter handles are usually short and you can use a hashtag to get people to do what you want. With Facebook, it’s a longer URL and people have to go to that place to comment, etc.

  • The call to action is simpler when it comes to Twitter. If it were Facebook, the user would have to be told to go the the page, and then be told again on the page to perform an action. Too much work. Smart use of TV spots.

    Also, the twitter buzz can be more readily measured than the posts on Facebook, most of which are private. By giving a call to action to tweet, the brands are actually making themselves better suited to listen to the conversation as it happens.

  • I agree with both Ankit and Cynthia – the call to action of Twitter is shorter and Twitter handles lend themselves well to the limited time format of television. Facebook addresses are less clear, and you can forget about Google+ pages – there’s no way that people are going to remember them. I wonder why both Facebook and Google+ can’t introduce a snappier handle system, such as +brandname or brandnamefb, even just for major brands in this very scenario. Until then Twitter will own TV.

  • It depends on your end goals that whether you build a native app or mobile website. If you want to developing a an interactive game then build app is the best option , But if you want to build mobile friendly content to the widest possible audiences then build mobile website is the right option. But it is pretty safe if you build an app without already having a mobile website in place.

  • I think the reason that Twitter is the best and easiest way to connect to TV ads is because of the use of Hashtags. Simple and easy to follow which leads me to believe that Instagram will start to be leveraged more in the future and thus Facebook will as well. If you use a specific hashtag that can easily go to Twitter and Instagram then you are hitting the major players in the social media world.

    As for Google+ I just don’t see it happening as of yet because it is more of a technical (computer) driven network and until G+ finds a way to differentiate itself and become more of a social network I don’t know if we will ever see that connection.

    I recently wrote a post about TV and the social networks since I come from a TV background. It only makes sense to me for brands to leverage their highly paid spots with social media so that it can last longer in the minds of consumers.

  • Social media mentions are nice, but sentiment and ACTIONS matter more. By mentions alone, GoDaddy won by a longshot. But we all know that no one really went out of their way to purchase domains because of the ad.

    I view “social media mentions” as simply a vanity metric. At the end of the day, it’s about the actions customers took. In other words: revenue, retention, referrals.

    I will be very curious though to see the ROI on Oreo’s social media nimbleness. I loved it. But it shouldn’t take 15 people in an ad agency to turnaround an ad that quick. ROI = how many cookies do they sell this next month? Not how many people Tweet them.

  • BestofAV

    It seems like the challenge for social media startups is unlocking the “why we’re better than you” appeal to get users. What made Facebook catch on as it did when barely a decade ago MySpace was where Pinterest and Tumblr are now?

    My friend just launched what I think is a revolutionary new location-based app Locist and, shockingly, got their brand on the towering billboards in Times Square among huge names (albeit, for only a few minutes at a time)! It makes you wonder if tactics like this vs. using visual marketing ads like posters and viral videos will win out in the end. DIY marketing is currently the name-of-the-game in the tech scene, but what happens when the start-up space becomes saturated with this balls-out competition? Where will all these ideas go; are they doomed to just fade out, or will big names find advantages to one day seek out the underdog if not for a bit of their own gain?

  • Rachel Ennis

    Great observations. I agree that Twitter’s ease of community keeps it ahead of FB and G+ on the mass media front. There are no roadblocks/relationship blocks keeping information from uniting users across the globe. FB and G+ have other benefits, but quick witted media reflex isn’t one of them.