The Seattle Seahawks weren’t the only winners of last year’s Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLVIII generated more Tweets during the live broadcast—24.9 million—than any year prior, representing an increase of 700,000 Tweets over 2013. But what does this mean for marketers? Does widespread Twitter multitasking distract from a brand’s high-profile TV campaign—or can Twitter be harnessed to drive greater returns?
SMG and Twitter set out to answer those questions in a 2014 research collaboration called the Social TV Lab. Across six Super Bowl XLVIII advertisers, we saw an aggregate 6% increase in brand favorability among audiences who both viewed a brand’s TV spot and engaged with that brand on Twitter vs. those who only viewed the spot. Even more telling were the results against individual brand KPIs. One brand saw a 258% lift in ad recall among multitaskers, and another saw an 834% increase in brand conversation among this audience.
Clearly, social TV has arrived and it is changing how people interact with content. The opportunity to leverage it to enhance and amplify brand experiences is only growing.
Be Super Social. Super Bowl viewers are 5 times more likely to socialize during the game than they would be on an average day. And while you may think that social activity is drawing their attention away, it’s quite the opposite—40% of Twitter conversations during sports and reality TV programming relate directly to the show and ad content.
Think Mobile-First. More than 60% of 2014 Super Bowl viewers engaged with their mobile phone at the same time. With many platforms making a bigger play for millennials’ attention than ever before, it’s important for brands to think mobile-first when developing a Super Bowl content strategy, especially with digital video and social media assets.
Engage Across Screens. People who engage simultaneously with content on TV and social media are 50% less likely to change channels during commercial breaks across a range of programming. This supports existing Twitter research that finds viewers who are actively engaging in social media while viewing TV are genuinely paying attention to both screens; TV show tune away is less and ad recall is higher.
Leverage Live Action. The research shows 70% of Tweets from multitaskers occur when something notable happens during a live broadcast event. Former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin’s third-quarter kickoff return was the highest tweeted moment of the 2014 Super Bowl with more than 381,000 Tweets per minute. Viewers are reacting and it’s important for marketers to respond.
Hashtag It. Of the 53 advertisements during the 2014 game, 58% contained hashtags, up from 50% in the 2013 Super Bowl. That number will increase this year, especially since TV ads with hashtags have been found to drive 42% more Tweets than those without. The hashtag may well be the true champion of this year’s game. That’s why it’s important for brands to develop a consistent, cross-platform hashtag strategy around game-related content.
As the senior VP, social media at Starcom MediaVest Group, Kevin Lange is charged with developing, growing and leading SMG’s paid social media practice in North America. Among his responsibilities, Lange leads the design and execution of social advertising strategies for some of SMG’s largest clients, develops and implements agency-wide processes for effective social media advertising, evaluates new technologies and manages SMG’s social technology partnerships.