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The Social Bowl: Super Bowl 2013 Social Media Trends

Posted on February 4, 2013

The Super Bowl is arguably the biggest television event of the year. (The presidential inauguration paled in comparison – only 20.6 million viewers.) Last year’s game garnered about 111.3 million viewers, and this year’s game is supposed to be the most watched in history. With America’s attention fixed on the game, social media was blowing up (and literally fusing out; I anxiously waited for Twitter to revive itself a few times).

The Super Bowl commercials got mixed reviews. Companies published annual best and worst lists. One trademark of this year’s ads was consumer engagement through social media; namely, calls to action. Brands were intentional about CTAs, and it showed. One of the most memorable CTAs was Coke’s “Chase” ad, where Coke asked viewers to visit www.cokechase.com to see the race results. The site included a race timeline filled with hashtags, Twitter handles and graphics. At the bottom of the site was the race winner.

With all the excitement the super bowl provided, the most tweetable moment goes to:

  • Beyonce? No.
  • Commercials? Try again.
  • Answer: The Superdome’s power outage.

So what happens when America is put on hold? Twitter happens. The 34-minute delay was the most tweeted moment of the night. I did a search within seconds of the power outage, and my feed was filled with remarks about the event.

Several companies tried to take advantage of the outage, but one shined through the darkness: Oreo. Its team of brand managers quickly sketched up a graphic and a caption that read:

“Power Out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” 

So what can we learn from Oreo? How about its beautiful example of inbound marketing. The company paid for a traditional commercial ad (average cost = $4 million per 30 seconds), but it produced an equally powerful and drastically cheaper graphic through social media.

There are risks to turning an ad around so quickly, but Oreo nailed it, and it’s paying off. The traditional ad gained Oreo thousands of Instagram followers. The Twitter graphic produced 15,000 retweets. I’m sure the team will be sitting down to compare metrics. Outcome is TBD, but for now we can take away one important lesson: inbound is IN.

What social media trends did you notice? Share your thoughts!

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Advertising

Candace Graves

Written by Candace Graves

Candace Graves is a digital marketing specialist with a degree in Public Relations from Baldwin Wallace University.

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