The Data Analytics of Super Bowl Commercials

data analytics of superbowl commercials 300x192 photo (analytics and twitter)Well, Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone.

data analytics of superbowl commercials 300x192 photo (analytics and twitter)Well, Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone. As a friend said on Facebook last night, “You can now return to your regular scheduled life.” Not so fast. The big game is big business.

Just check out these stats:

  • 21 of the 45 of the most-watched network TV broadcasts of all time have been Super Bowls. (Source: American Spectator)
  • The total number of Super Bowl viewers has jumped an average of 5 million per year in the last five years. We went from 151.3 million viewers to 162.9 between 2010 and 2011. (Source: NFL)

That’s a captive audience for Super Bowl commercials, which according to a SportsNite poll is the reason 32% of Americans watch the Super Bowl. Only 40% are watching for the game. But with nearly a third of the audience just in it for the ads, we thought it would be interesting to bring you the data analytics of Super Bowl commercials. (Watch them all here.)

Show Me the Money!

If you wanted a slice of this diverse, mega audience, your invoice included an average charge of $3.5 million per commercial. That’s more than $116K per second. Advertisers are willing to pay that much because they reached an estimated 111 million eyeballs during Super Bowl XLVI.

NFL Teams – Social Businesses

Both teams had landing pages for after-the-victory gear ready to go on, but the Giants accidentally predicted their victory about 24 hours before the game, according to Despite the Patriots loss, the two teams are neck and neck in their social abilities. While the NY Giants as a team receive more social buzz, Tom Brady has more of a social brand than the team he represents. Check out this article on the social dynamics of the Super Bowl XLVI matchup.

Digital Marketing Push

Before the big game, there was a major push to get the commercials online. More than half of the ads appeared online before the game in an effort to engage social media users. Did it hurt the advertisers during the game?

According to Raymond Taylor, a professor of marketing at Villanova, not leaking the ads was the real advantage this year. However, some brands were more effective in the way they used the Internet, such as USA Today’s Ad Meter leader – Doritos.

PepsiCo’s Frito Lay division and the cheesy chip’s parent company continued their successful social media push for user-generated ad concepts and a grand prize of $1 million. Jonathan Friedman, a freelance graphic designer from Virginia Beach, Va. won the contest for his simple, but hilarious dog bribe.

Bring on the “Second Screen”

Advertisers including Doritos, were hoping to tap into the “second screen” so prevalent in the lives of Super Bowl viewers. About two-thirds of viewers were expected to have mobile phones, tablets or laptops on hand for the big game.

Advertisers focused much more on engaging with users in real time this year, sending them to a number of social media destinations via Quick Response or QR Codes, Twitter hash tags and Facebook landing pages. The MarketingLand blog tallied the “Social Bowl” score by which social network got the most mentions – Twitter and Facebook tied with eight each, while Google+ got shut out.

Twitter – Darling of the Social Bowl

However, Twitter appears to be the social winner – at least in the real-time, mobile race. Hashtags such as #makeitplatinum (Bud Light) and #whatworks (GE) and #solongvampires (Audi) were trending topics almost immediately after they appeared, reports Matt McGee, senior news editor with MarketingLand. And today, #SuperBowl is the obvious discussion as we all return to work on what many believe should be a national holiday.

Chevrolet made use of the smart phone with the Super Bowl’s very first ad app for winning prizes. Users could enter to win prizes as simple as pizza to the highly touted new Camaro from the app, according to a Washington Post report.

Coca-Cola asked viewers to head to Facebook to watch its polar bear videos. And flashed the Super Bowl’s only QR Code hoping to continue its 25% jump in domain sales the day after the big game.

The jury is still out on whether the social media buzz and efforts to engage more screens warrants the $3.5 million price tag, but it sure was cool to see a reenactment of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Now, if we could all just get one of those to watch these commercials and catch a nap.

Next steps: Tweet us your favorite Super Bowl commercial and check out this cool @Brandwatch data visualization tool on Super Bowl ads. superbowl interactive infographic 300x150 photo (analytics and twitter)

Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team