While I think it’s fair to say this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads were pretty “meh,” they succeeded in driving more social media engagement than last year’s, according to an analysis by ListenFirst, which powers MediaPost’s Digital Engagement Index, tracking a range of social engagement metrics across the major social media channels.
Considering both years in aggregate, the combined Digital Engagement Rating for brands appearing in the Super Bowl increased 44% from 38 million engagements in 2015 to 54.7 million in 2016.
One of the biggest winners was Esurance, which drove the most organic conversation on social media with its #EsuranceSweepstakes campaign: the hashtag generated 2.17 million mentions during the game itself, and an additional 1.07 million mentions the following day. Another winner was Toyota, which saw its DER increase 240% from 479,674 on Saturday to 1,635,628 on Sunday, thanks to its amusing Prius-as-getaway car.
However, other brands didn’t fare quite as well. Budweiser, long a Super Bowl favorite, went puppy-less and employed Dame Helen Mirren, but failed to crack the top ten in terms of social media engagement, although they received a fair amount of online conversation following Peyton Manning’s post-game shout-out, resulting in 21,116 mentions online.
Some brands actually saw their DER go down during the game: despite its pretty good “First Date” ad starring Kevin Hart, Hyundai, for example, dropped from 6,638,945 on Saturday to 5,607,321 on Sunday. Similarly, Mobile Strike slipped from 2,687,906 to 2,169,762.
Others registered only small increases during the game, but big increases afterwards: Mountain Dew’s DER rose 11% from 1.7 million on Saturday to 1.9 million on Sunday, but then jumped 85% to 3.5 million on Monday, perhaps as the full weirdness of the “puppy monkey baby” settled in. Following the same trajectory, Coca-Cola increased 21% from 1.52 million on Saturday to 1.84 million on Sunday, then jumped 116% to four million on Monday.