Viewers across America tuned into Super Bowl LV Sunday night as their latest source of entertainment. Whether you were watching for the commercials, the halftime show, or the actual football game, there was a lot to talk about, and as usual, people flocked to social media to share their thoughts and opinions.
While most brands spent the majority of their big game advertising budgets on TV spots (though there were some changes this year), others took to social media to engage fans and promote their brands. Within this post, we’re breaking down some of the notable social media trends from this year’s event.
As TikTok continues to make a name for itself as one of the top social media networks, the app partnered directly with the NFL to host and livestream the first-ever TikTok Tailgate ahead of Sunday’s football game. In preparation for the event, the majority of advertising leveraged the headliner, Miley Cyrus, who would be performing live for the 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers in attendance at the game.
The event itself was not what many expected. The first hour was comprised of prerecorded content such as Top NFL TikToks, tailgate recipes hosted by well-known TikTokers, Who Do You Think Will Win Interviews, and Mic’d Up clips from the featured teams. Not exactly what you’d expect of a LIVEstream…
Within the first 5 minutes, just over 24k people had tuned in, but the viewership quickly ticked down to under 18k as Miley Cyrus fans came and went, uninterested in the football heavy content. More fans did later join in, and within the first hour viewership peaked just above 30.5k viewers. (Note: these numbers do not reflect unique viewers, but total live viewers at one time.)
Once the concert began, viewership in the second hour doubled with over 66k streamers watching and commenting. It was clear from the comments that the audience was a large mix of Miley and football fans. However, it was also apparent that many people who tuned in did not know the background information of the live audience, leading to many negative comments regarding the pandemic.
At the conclusion of the event, the NFL TikTok account gained over 200,000 followers (from 5.7M to 5.9M). Those who tuned in were prompted to follow the account, which is what likely lead to the growth.
If TikTok and the NFL plan to host another tailgate next year, hopefully, they learn from this experience and provide better advertising leading up to the event (as people are known for not reading the fine print). There’s also an opportunity for other brands to get involved in some of the segments, but it was unclear if any of the brands mentioned in the pre-recorded clips were legitimate sponsorships or not (there were no FTC disclosures).
10 other brands stepped up on TikTok and promoted branded hashtag challenges for the big day. Some of TV’s big spenders, such as Doritos and Pepsi, created Branded Effects to complement their hashtag challenges, and other brands, such as Old Spice and Turbo Tax, tapped into the “This or That” trend with football-themed questions. CHI-CHI’S® creatively partnered with well-known TikTok creators @brodywellmaker and @flossybaby to prompt audiences to duet with the creators and share their unique ways of sharing salsa (not germs).
After Gatorade made headlines in 2016 with their Snapchat lens, other brands have followed suit throughout the years. This year was no different, except that this feature (and others) are now accessible on other networks such as Facebook and Instagram. The NFL even partnered with Facebook for a new set of camera filters and stickers to support this year’s event.
Speaking of Snapchat, Cheetos integrated Snapchat’s scanning technology into their Super Bowl Ad. The commercial features codes throughout that unlock free snacks when scanned. Marketers have noted that this is an improved version of previous brand campaigns that have leveraged QR codes and that we will likely see more of these campaigns in the future as second-screen viewing habits increase.
Twitter has become a well-known destination for real-time conversations during the Super Bowl. Many brands continued their ad campaigns across Twitter, but some brands got a little extra creative with their content and garnered some great reactions from audiences. Both Buffalo Wild Wings and Velveeta found fun ways to prompt audiences to engage with their brand, neither of which had to pay extra for advertising space.
Rocket Mortgage not only invested in two Super Bowl commercials but hosted a sweepstakes, Rocket Mortgage Squares, on Twitter during the actual game. Select participants were awarded prize money whenever someone scored during the game. The brand notified winners via tagging them in Tweets.
While the game itself wasn’t as eventful as some hoped, this year’s social media content proved to be much better than years past. Hopefully some of the items above can help inspire an upcoming campaign for your brand.
If you need a little more inspiration, contact our team of social media experts. We love a good brainstorm and working with amazing brands. Alternatively, keep your eyes on more social media trends by subscribing to our newsletter, Social You Should Know, below.
Subscribe to Social You Should Know