This past Sunday marked the 53rd edition of the highly-anticipated SuperBowl.
For those of us who aren’t familiar with the event, it’s an annual (American) football game where the Champion of the National Football Conference (NFC) plays against the champion of the American Football Conference (AFC).
In other words, this is the most important sports event of the year in the United States, with an average of 100 million people watching the game at the same time.
Unless you’ve spent the last couple of days locked in a room with no wifi access – there is no way you could have missed all the coverage of the event across the internet.
This year, the championship was between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots.
And at the end, the Patriots won. This is the 6th Super Bowl in their history.
Pretty. Big. Deal!
Once again, to break down what happened around the event, we decided @Mention to monitor the noise generated by the event on the internet.
To do this, we created an alert for it a couple of days before the game. We ended up monitoring 1 048 586 online conversations and discovered everything there’s to know about the Super Bowl LIII. Let’s dive in.
What did we listen to?
This year, we decided to focus on English conversations (regardless of the source country) including the terms “Super Bowl”, “Superbowl” or “SBLIII”.
Although this means we didn’t catch all of the conversations about the event, it’s only fair to assume that 1 048 586 mentions represent a relevant pool of data to work with.
Funnily enough, while the Los Angeles Rams lost the game, they accounted for 50.78% of the online conversation we monitored. Yep, that’s more than the winning team.
If nothing, the LA Rams won the mention race. Yay!
Is the Super Bowl a worldwide event?
Yes, it is.
Our analysis revealed three key insights about the Super Bowl.
- The entire planet talked about it.
- While the U.S. alone accounted for half of the conversations…
- … it clearly dominates the internet.
There’s a reason why the rest of the world calls it American Football.
With that said, it’s essential to understand that the Super Bowl is not only about football.
In fact, each year, the viewer ratings are calculated during halftime, as this is the moment when we observe the largest amount of simultaneous viewers.
Game, ads, halftime show, … we listened to it all. Let’s look at what people talked about during Super Bowl 2019 in this blog post.
What was talked about the most?
4 topics and Tom Brady clearly dominated the conversations:
With over 77K mentions, Tom Brady—NE Patriots’ Quaterback—is clearly a one-man-show. This means that many brands will probably be willing to spend millions of dollars to leverage his influence in 2019.
How did the internet feel about Super Bowl LIII?
“The worst Super Bowl ever”, according to CNN.
“A fascinating game”, said SBNation.
So, which one is it?
While most of the mentions were neutral (about 85%), we observed a lot of negative noise coming from the internet.
To give you something to compare it with, here’s our CES 2019 analysis. Only 0.7% of the conversations were rated negatively.
Seeing so many negatively toned conversations, we decided to investigate, using Mention.
One trend emerges: boycott and racism.
First, Colin Kaepernick —former NFL player— called for a boycott of the event to keep on raising awareness on the racial injustice still impacting the American society in 2019. He has been a victim of injustice after he started to take a knee during the American National Anthem in 2017, as a sign of protestation.
Celebrities like Rihanna, Jay-Z, Cardi B, and Pink joined the boycott, by announcing they turned down the Super Bowl Halftime Show opportunity a couple of months before that.
Other celebrities like Ava DuVernay also backed up the former NFL Superstar.
Also, many asked to boycott the event after the police of the host city (Atlanta) apparently fatally shot 2 unarmed black men.
And, to top it up, the game itself was not very eventful and was in fact the “lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever” – (NYT).
All of the above explains why there was so much negatively toned conversations before, during and right after the event.
All in all, the game was not exactly riveting.
For that, there’s the Halftime show and the Super Bowl commercials.
A controversial halftime show
This year, Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi turned the stadium into a concert arena during halftime.
The pop band led by Adam Levine accounted for most of the conversations (76.06%).
Now, if we put the neutral mentions aside, most of the conversations about the band were in fact negatively toned.
Adam Levine’s explanation? “Hate always comes with Super Bowl Halftime show”.
The real, data-based explanation? Colin Kaepernick’s attorney bashing Adam Levine a day before the event for accepting to perform at halftime.
Now, let’s forget a bit about the game and the halftime show.
Let’s look at what’s really interesting for most of the viewers: the Super Bowl Commercials.
FYI, a halftime 30-seconds advertising spot costs, on average, $5M for brands. This means there’s no room for failure.
This year, 10 brands caught the internet’s attention.
The 10 Brands Who Won The Super Bowl 2019. #SBIII
We identified the brands that were discussed the most during and after the event on the internet.
Here’s your top 10.
Pepsi’s More Than OK
This was the most discussed commercial over Super Bowl’s Week End. But does that make it the best commercial? Not so sure.
The ad starts with the following dialogue:
- Client: “I’ll get a Coke”
- Waiter: “Is Pepsi okay?”
This basically reminds us that most of the viewers prefer Coke over Pepsi.
See for yourself.
2. Mercedes-Benz’s Say The Word
The Mercedes brand was in the middle of it all during the Super Bowl weekend. As the game took place at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Atlanta, they released the following commercial, in which they advertised the power their cars give to drivers.
3. Doritos’ Chance the Rapper x Backstreet Boys
Drop everything! There’s a new Doritos flavor out there!
Nostalgia always works, but are people still crazy about Backstreet Boys (or men)?
4. Microsoft’s We All Win
My favorite, by far.
In this ad, Microsoft advertises a brand new controller that let gamers with disabilities play video games, regardless of their motor abilities.
This type of controller is not new in the gaming industry. That said, it’s the first time that one of the main console manufacturers (Microsoft owns the Xbox brand) sells one for their machine.
“Owen is not different when he plays”. We’re not crying, you’re crying.
5. Disney’s (Marvel’s) Avengers and Toy Story trailers
Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, … it’s extremely difficult not to get excited with Disney’s licenses lately. This year, Disney hit hard by presenting two new trailers during the Super Bowl: Avengers End Game and Toy Story.
6. Google’s Billion Words
In this 1-minute commercial that will make you shiver, Google reminds us that the world is not as doomed as we think. They reveal that the most translated sentences are “How are you?”, “Thank you”, “I love you”.
Tugging on our heartstrings? Mission accomplished.
7. Amazon’s Not Everything Makes the Cut
Early January, TechCrunch revealed that Amazon sold about 100 million Alexa devices around the world. This is impressive, considering Alexa also introduces a new way to interact with technology.
In this ad, however, Amazon tells us, with a lot of humor – that the road was paved with many failures.
8. Washington Post’s Democracy Dies in Darkness
Ever since Donald Trump took office in 2017, news outlets such as the New York Times, CNN or the Washington Post have been fighting against alternative facts, also known around the globe as fake news.
Their main argument so far? Facts.
This year, the Washington Post adopts another approach by defending journalisms and its constant fight against Darkness.
9. Avocados From Mexico’s Top Dog
I’d be lying if I told you that I understood the buzz around this year’s ad from Avocados From Mexico.
Why would they use dogs when it’s a known fact that avocados can harm them?
10. Bud Light’s Very Special Delivery
Just as Disney did, Bud Light hit twice this year.
First, they sent a clear message to the market by saying they don’t use corn syrup sweetener in their beers. Something their direct competition does.
With this ad, a war against the corn industry ensued. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) picked it up right away.
.@BudLight America’s corn farmers are disappointed in you. Our office is right down the road! We would love to discuss with you the many benefits of corn! Thanks @MillerLight and @CoorsLite for supporting our industry. https://t.co/6fIWtRdeeM
— National Corn (NCGA) (@NationalCorn) February 4, 2019
A fight that twitter users obviously picked up too.
Bud Light did not stop there.
They partnered with HBO to tease the final season of Game of Thrones in another epic commercial:
This obviously started thousands of hilarious conversations.
RIP bud knight pic.twitter.com/eysfphf59p
— nick (@nick_pants) February 4, 2019
That’s all, folks!
Scandal + Boring Game + Awesome Ads = … Twitter Fury
So there you have it.
Whether you like football or not, the Super Bowl LIII occupied a large part of the 1st weekend of February’s conversation.
What did you think about this year’s Super Bowl? Were you mostly into the game? The Halftime Show? The Ads? Did it meet your expectations? Share your thoughts in the comment section!