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Hashtags dominate national Super Bowl ad spots #sorryfacebook

Article ID:
February 2013
Quirk's Staff

Article Abstract

According to one columnist's count, Twitter was mentioned in half of the ad spots during Super Bowl XLVII, with no other social media networks coming close.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the February 25, 2013, edition of Quirk's e-newsletter.

Integrating social media into traditional ad campaigns can seem an overwhelming task. From Twitter and Facebook to YouTube and Instagram, it's hard to narrow down one call-to-action for viewers, especially on TV, where space is extremely limited. But if the national ad spots from Super Bowl XLVII are any indication of social media popularity and efficacy, it's Twitter's world and we're all just living in it.


While many advertisers struggle to choose which outlet best suits their offerings and best caters to their audience, the decision seemed to be an easy one for Super Bowl XLVII advertisers, as Twitter was mentioned in 26 of 52 national TV commercials, according to Matt McGee's February 3rd article, "Game Over: Twitter Mentioned In 50% Of Super Bowl Commercials, Facebook Only 8%, Google+ Shut Out," for Marketing Land. Facebook was mentioned in only four of those commercials and Google+ (reportedly the No. 2 social network in the world) wasn't mentioned at all. YouTube and Instagram were mentioned once each.

Seemingly overnight, hashtagging has become the most popular way to integrate social media into TV advertising, as ads shown during last year's Super Bowl only featured eight mentions each for Twitter and Facebook, out of a total of 59 counted national commercials. This indicates Twitter gaining ground at an alarming rate while Facebook falls off.

There are myriad possible reasons why Twitter was the favorite of Super Bowl advertisers. It could be the brevity of hashtags; how catchy and clever they can be; or that they can be customized for each ad, whereas Facebook Page references usually link back to a general company or product page. Whatever the reason, Twitter is showing the potential to remain the leader of social media ad integration for the foreseeable future.

Click here for more information on what hashtags were used and how McGee counted the national spots.

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