Budweiser Won The Social Super Bowl

This year the only real contest at the Super Bowl was between the ads. This week, analysis outfit Touchstorm declared the winners — as far as YouTube is concerned — with Budweiser’s puppy spot, Coca-Cola’s “America the Beautiful” and Jaguar’s #GoodtoBeBad taking the top three spots.

Budweiser also clinched fourth and fifth place with its #UpForWhatever and Hero spots, giving the brewer a dominant position in the YouTube arena.

Touchstorm’s analysis is based on four metrics, including total views on YouTube; subscriber conversion rates, meaning how many viewers then subscribed to the YouTube channel, enabling further engagement; likability, meaning how many times people liked the spot relative to the total number of views on YouTube; and velocity, referring to the length of time the brand is able to sustain interest in the ad, including when that interest peaks and starts to decline.

TouchStorm CEO Alison Provost noted that the most successful YouTube contenders had a few things in common, besides good creative. First, as with Budweiser’s Puppy spot, they amplified their presence by buying pre-roll ad placements on YouTube, as well as using the platform’s in-search feature to surface the ads in search results.

Conversely, some advertisers (e.g. Microsoft) had great creative but neglected to boost its visibility with paid placements.

Second, “marketers need a great package of creative, not just the one spot.” Here, Provost cited Chobani, which posted its bear spot but also a number of shorter outtake-type clips of bears with amusing (often bizarre) voiceovers, and used these to spark social conversations with various Twitter users, including celebs like Katy Perry.

Third, Provost advised: “If you want to grow you owned audiences as a brand, your Super Bowl videos need to run on your own brand channel.” While that might seem like an obvious point, some brands didn’t seem to get it, including Doritos and Bank of America, both of which ran their spots on U2’s RED channel.

Provost noted that these advertisers could show their support for the charity, while still capturing viewers for their owned audiences, simply by posting to their own channels and then cross-posting it to the BofA channel.

There’s some good news for smaller advertisers in all this, according to Provost: “With YouTube, you don’t have to be a big player to play on the big stage. On our list of the top 10 most effective ads, we also see spots from Radio Shack, Axe and Wonderful Pistachios, up there with some of the biggest brands.  When you look at effectiveness, and not just sheer spend, it shows that smaller brands can be getting a lot out of it.”

Looking ahead to next year, Provost noted: “By promoting their ads pre-game, brands are turning all of January into an advertising season, just like a political or Olympic advertising season. … Next year, we’ll be looking at the whole month of January to see what advertisers are doing leading up to the game.”

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