super bowl graphic final

Another year, another Super Bowl and another set of moving, ridiculous, hilarious and downright strange Super Bowl commercials. From rocket propelled pigs and angry Liam Neeson, to the camaraderie between puppy and horse, the 2015 crop of ads was a viewing feast for the TV watching masses. But as memorable as some of the adverts were, how did they fare online? Which ads got us talking and which ads sent us off to the land of nod? Here at Talkwalker, we took a look at all the different brands that spent the big bucks on Super Bowl advertising and analysed how much of an impact they made.

The Top 3: Always, Nationwide and Budweiser

over time and mentions 5

The most mentioned ad was from Always, maker of women’s sanitary products, that tried to change people’s attitudes towards women and sport, challenging the notion of doing something “like a girl”. Over the afternoon/evening of Feb 1st it generated over 450,000 online mentions, over 100,000 more than the next most mentioned brand: Nationwide.

Nationwide’s advert also had a powerful message but it caused some controversy amongst the public. The ad shows a boy wishing he could have pursued a variety of dreams but ends shockingly: the boy is unable to pursue his dreams because he has died in a preventable accident. The ad did elicit a big reaction but unfortunately for Nationwide a fair amount of that reaction was negative with numerous people accusing Nationwide of inappropriate timing for such a difficult topic.

Budweiser came in third and went in an altogether different direction: cute animal camaraderie. The advert features a very sweet little puppy making friends with some horses who eventually come to save cute puppy when he/she comes face to face with a wolf. The ad may not have had the grander themes of some of its peers but it was pretty effective, generating just over 350,000 online mentions and perhaps more importantly, a very positive reaction from the public.

Getting Emotional

To take a bit of a closer look at how people reacted to the three top performers we applied what we like to call an emotion filter to see what kinds of “emotion” words were used to discuss the three ads.

emotions all

For Always (left) the reaction was generally pretty good. The word “important” is the most frequently used word with “amazing” and “powerful” not too far behind. There are a relatively high number of mentions for “hate” too but all in all, positive words seem to do better than negative. Budweiser (centre) also does quite well (though not quite as good as Always) with “awesome”, “amazing” and “perfect” all up there, though once again “hate” does make an appearance. Unfortunately for Nationwide, the picture isn’t so good. Although “amazing” does crop up once again, “ruined”, “horrible” and “awful” make up the top 3 spots with “terrible” and “depressed” in close pursuit.

Hashtag Champ

hashtag champ

Of course these days no major ad is complete without an accompanying hashtag and the Super Bowl Ads were no exception. Once again, Always came out on top in the battle of the brand hashtags and by some distance. #LikeAGirl made up the majority of Always’ online mentions and had three times more mentions than closest competitor Coca-Cola with #MakeitHappy. Coca-Cola’s ad featured videos of people being chosen to take part in a real campaign called “pay with lovin’” which involves people randomly being selected to pay for their meals at McDonald’s not with money but with a “loving gesture”, whether it be telling your mother that you love her or a group hug. The last podium spot was taken up by Budweiser’s hashtag #BestBuds, a reference to the aforementioned unbreakable bond between horse and dog. #KimsDatasSash from T-Mobile’s ad featuring Kim Kardashian and Nissan’s #withdad also deserve honourable mentions.

Celeb Power

celebs on twitter

It will come as no surprise that Twitter, the seeming platform of choice for live discussions of TV mega events, was the most used media channel to discuss the Super Bowl Ads. Celebs got in on the act too with the above tweet from Taylor Swift (top left) amassing over 20,000 retweets. American actress writer and producer of Mindy Kaling, who starred in one of Nationwide’s Super Bowl adverts, also got involved tweeting a selfie (bottom left) with Matt Damon. And finally US actress/songwriter Demi Lovato showed her approval of Always’ Super Bowl Ad (right).

All Around the World

super bowl world map

And for those thinking that the Super Bowl is only really big in America, although the US unsurprisingly saw by far the greatest numbers of mentions, there was still plenty of discussion around the world particularly in English speaking countries like the UK and Australia.

Ad That’s a Wrap!

Overall it seems pretty clear that Always were the big winners on the night with the most mentions, the best hashtag and an outpouring of positivity to their advert. Budweiser also came out smelling of roses. Alas the public were less kind to Nationwide although their ad did succeed at least in generating a lot of discussion. As for me, my favourite advert was this little gem from Clash of Clans, a mobile gaming app, where Liam Neeson gets a little too involved in his new game…

Photo Credit: Youtube AdBlitz Screenshot