The hype was enormous. not for the game itself but for the fact that this was going to be the most social media intensive super Bowl on record.

To be sure, the (hashtag) Super Bowl will be the top trending topic on Twitter this week. The amount of Facebook activity will be enormous. I’m sure Foursquare will have record check ins for the event and You Tube will experience a spike in visitors looking for replays of the ads and Christina Aguliara’s woeful rendition of Our National Anthem.

This makes sense. The Super Bowl was the number one topic of conversation of the moment. It is great content that interests most of us on a personal level. We care about the event….and the game, too. This is what makes social media so engaging – topics we care about that we want to share with friends and strangers alike.

But, that wasn’t what the hype was all about. This Super Bowl was going to be a marketer’s dream. Every brand was going to add social media marketing to their mix to expand their reach, add more fans and (ultimately) sell more product. Certainly, the pre-game social buzz was all about the social media contests, the pre-release of the in-game TV spots and constant commentary of what people liked.

With all of this, I expected the major brands who ponied up three million dollars per thirty seconds of game exposure would use that platform to drive fans to social media for more content, information and reaction. This did not happen.

I charted every in-game commercial from the first break after the opening kickoff until the clock read 00:00. The results may surprise you.

There were 62 separate national commercials during the game. This does not include the ubiquitous Fox promos and the several local affiliate breaks. Of ALL those spots a total of seven actually featured a Facebook page or Twitter hashtag. Seven! My math’s a bit rusty but that is only 11.2%. Really?

Here is the list of brands that actually referred to social media during their Super Bowl ads:


Yes, there were direct web related businesses like, Go Daddy and – but they were promoting web sites, not social media.

For all the hype social media marketing was essentially a no-show at the Super Bowl. BMW spent a fortune on promoting their Twitter race yet there was not one mention of it during the game. Doritos had a huge contest driving people to You Tube…yet not one mention during the game. And what about Coke?

There is no question that the major brands used social media marketing as a way to advance their messages but if you’re spending the kind of dollars Super Bowl spots demand – wouldn’t you want to leverage that exposure and drive traffic to your social media?

It seems the integration of social media campaigns with those of traditional media is still in the early adopter stage.

Your thoughts?

Author: Steve Allan, Social Media Specialist