Super Bowl Metrics

6 02 2012

A social TV analytics company called Bluefin Labs provided a range of data on the Super Bowl. (Their Twitter feed is here.) Let’s get into it.

Game and halftime

Social media comments made during the Super Bowl rose from 1.8 million in 2011 to (wait for it) 12.2 million on Sunday. That’s a  578 percent increase. Last night’s Super Bowl also set the record for social media comments made in any kind of TV event. The 2011 MTV Video Music Awards was the previous record holder with 3.1 million. The fact that this year’s Super Bowl had 12.2 million should tell you why TV advertising rates are so expensive. On no other stage will a company be able to have so many eyes and ears on its product.

Of the game’s 12.2 million comments, 862,000 of them came during halftime. That nearly matches the number recorded for the 2011 Academy Awards, which inspired 966,000 comments. The halftime show on its own would rank fourth all-time for entertainment-related social TV comments – behind the ’11 MTV Video Music Awards, the ’11 American Music Awards and the ’11 Oscars.


Bluefin Labs measures commercial comments from when they air live to the 45 minutes following it. The commercial altogether received 985,000 comments, which is ahead of the ’11 Oscars. Here the top five commercials for parents, students and sports fanatics:

Parents – CareerBuilder (“Business Trip”); Teleflora (“Adriana Lima”); Best Buy (“Phone Innovators”); Honda CR-V (“Matthew’s Day Off”); Budweiser (“Prohibition”)

Students – ‘Hunger Games’ trailer; Planet Fitness (“I Lift Things Up”); Sketchers (“GO RUN Mr. Quiggly!”); Doritos (“Sling Baby”); M&M Wars (“Miss Brown”)

Sports Fantatics – Chrysler (“It’s Halftime in America” featuring Clint Eastwood); Bud Light (“Rescue Dog”); Doritos (“Man’s Best Friend”); ‘Act of Valor’ trailer; Chevy (“Happy Grad”)

Top 10 commercials with social media comments – Samsung (“Next Big Thing”, 26K); Bud Light (“Rescue Dog”, 29K); Sketchers (“GO RUN Mr. Quiggly”, 35K); Doritos (“Sling Baby”, 41K); Chevy Silverado (“2012”, 41K); Pepsi (“King’s Court”, 45K); Doritos (“Man’s Best Friend”, 74K); NBC The Voice (“Vocal Kombat”, 90K); Chrysler (“It’s Halftime in America”, 96K); H&M (“David Beckham Bodywear”, 109K)

My three favorite were the Chrysler Halftime in America spot, the NFL evolution piece and then the Volkswagon one with the golden retriever who gets in shape. Laughs are always worth points, but ultimately humorous commercials don’t typically have much takeaway value. (Save for Bud’s “Rescue Dog” commercial, which promoted a worthy cause.)

Ultimately, I want commercials to mean something. I want value. That’s why I was so intrigued by the Halftime and Evolution spots. The Halftime was my favorite because it hit the deepest emotional chord it realistically could during a sports event. Most of us in this country have known some sort of suffering since 2008. Most of us have had to dig for some sort of inspiration or perseverance to progress our lives – professionally, personally and in other ways.

Chrysler has embraced the “serious” side of commercials with its Eminem-laced spot in last year’s game, and now this year with Eastwood. Even though he’s 81. There’s something strangely relatable between Eastwood and people of my generation who are in their mid- to late 20s. We think of Eastwood as being a badass because of Dirty Harry. More than that, Eastwood seems “real”. He’s authentic, doesn’t bullshit and we respect that. That’s why his words brought so much value, even if they were written by other folks.

The NFL Evolution commercial piqued my interest obviously because I’m a sports lover at heart. The evolution of sports is a particular interest, from how equipment changes to the types of player who mark specific eras in a league’s history. I believe that commercial captured it appropriately.

I’ll show three very good visuals that Bluefin Labs provided along YouTube videos of my three favorite commercials.