With Super Bowl XLVII in the books, we are back with Stein + Partners Brand Activation’s 2nd Annual Super Bowl Activation Index (SBAI), a measure of which brands generated extended and positive engagement beyond Super Bowl Sunday–and, ultimately, received significantly greater value via their broadcast investments.
Jon Stewart of The Daily Show aptly summed up that Sunday night by saying, “The real contest took place among America's foremost products, who competed for the opportunity to be buzzed about, with an estimated global audience of everybody. The Super Bowl is a company's best chance to get its message across to America.”
With an average of $4 million per 30-second spot, any brand marketer would want that message to have “legs.”
Marketers have come to realize the real value of a Super Bowl spot is not generated through the 30 seconds of airtime. Even the best spot in and of itself will not activate a brand. But the right ad will be a catalyst for engagement–ultimately leading to brand activation. To that end, many of the polls, analyses, and reporting devices/meters rating ad popularity and brand impact tell only a partial story.
We’ve taken it a step further with our Super Bowl Activation Index.
During and following the Super Bowl, we set out to examine what consumers do and say after commercials air. Specifically, we examined branded search engine queries, tweets, and Facebook posts, and the sentiment (positive, negative, or neutral) of that activity. All data, including spend, was normalized to arrive at a fair and balanced index. This year we’ve added the element of engagement via Hulu, which, for the first time, cataloged all of the commercials.
The top three brands of the 2013 Super Bowl Activation Index are (on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the pinnacle of brand activation):
1. Budweiser: Brotherhood
Score: 8.92 SBAI
Budweiser went straight for viewer’s hearts, and it succeeded with the journey of a young Clydesdale and his owner. This is the highest SBAI recorded to date, fueled by a massive post event viewing on Hulu (three times the amount of likes than the next most-liked video). Bud’s interest soared on Google in the days following Super Bowl Sunday–Google interest up 75 percent and 175,000-plus Facebookers still talking about the brand (a 60 percent increase since before the spot ran).
2. Dodge: Farmer
Score: 8.55 SBAI
A very close second, Dodge connected with viewers’ emotions with one of the more sincere ads I’ve seen in a long time. Dodge had the most post-event plays on Hulu, along with 22,000 Facebook Likes (the most of any commercial). Interest across Google also surged following the game, with interest levels rising 45 percent. Unlike many other brands, the volume of positive sentiment comments was outstanding. If there were a level higher than “positive,” we would have to put Dodge there.
3. Oreo: Whisper Fight
Score: 7.87 SBAI
In all honesty, this was not one of my favorite ads. But I let the data be my guide, and the data says Oreo was good enough for third place. Of course, the data may have been influenced by Oreo's quick-thinking maneuver as much as by its ad: Moments after the lights went out, Oreo tweeted an image of its cookie surrounded by darkness with the line, "You Can Still Dunk In The Dark." Oreo’s Twitter followers spiked 20 percent following the event (which provides a whole new set of listeners to communicate with). Interest across Google has continued to rise since the airing–up 64 percent compared to pre-Super Bowl.
The ability for these brands to take this momentum and sustain activation remains to be seen. One of the core tenets of brand activation is “a deep desire to know what customers are thinking, to better understand what they need, and to frame everything the brand stands for in that context.” Activated brands not only put forth messages in this context, they eagerly listen and apply the messages being put forth by customers and potential customers.
We’ll keep an eye on these brands going forward. We’ll also continue to evolve and apply our Brand Activation Index. Oscars, anyone?
● Search volume measured across Google, Yahoo, and Bing for branded keywords and key phrases of advertisers.
● Interest measured across Google.
● Facebook wall volume for all advertisers and percent change pre- vs. post-game.
● Tweet volume and hashtag volume for all advertisers and percent change pre- vs. post-game.
● Hulu commercial viewing post event.
● Measurements taken prior to game day, during the game, and for the 48 hours following.