Congrats, Baltimore Ravens! But What About Those Commercials?

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Congrats, Baltimore Ravens! But What About Those Commercials?
Congrats, Baltimore Ravens! But What About Those Commercials?

[See all commercials on Hulu.]

Well, another Super Bowl has come and gone and tens of millions of dollars have been spent to capture our attention and wallets. But in this customer-first world, how did the advertising stack up? At $4 million for just 30 seconds of time, who took advantage to extend the experience beyond the big game? Did anyone take advantage of the second screen? Who missed the mark? Let's take a look.

As Nielsen reported, 91 percent of consumers planning to watch this Sunday's game are also looking forward to watching the commercials. That's a huge audience (2012 saw 111 million viewers) with full attention on your 30 seconds. With most viewers watching with a tablet within reach and a mobile phone in their pocket, how did this year's ads do at using that attention to start building a relationship and further the conversation through the digital channels (mobile, social, email, web, and display).

First, CBS was the biggest advertiser, with more than 32% of commercials dedicated to CBS shows, sports, or local news. That's either a sign of desperation to get people to watch your shows, or a sign that they didn't sell as much advertising to fill the time. Either way, I'll be happy not to see another CBS show ad about them being #1. OK, on to the good stuff.

The biggest loser this year over last was Shazam. Last year several advertisers used its listening technology to extend their 30 seconds. This year only one advertiser used this method. This implies that listening tech was not successful at bringing the customer online as some assumed it would be last year, otherwise we surely would have seen more advertisers using it again.

Websites were back this year. This was the most common tactic used to get people to continue the conversation. Some used custom domains like or, while others promoted their actual site (or page on their site like I'm glad to see this coming back as it's a great place to capture email addresses, mobile numbers, fans, etc. Each advertiser did not leverage the quick sign-up method, but a most had some way for visitors to stay in touch.

Hashtags were also a big win with 19% of ads using a custom hashtag to promote their message. About 10% used Facebook or Twitter as the call-to-action. We also saw Oreo promote Instagram as a place to follow along.

Both Coke and Axe body spray had the most urgent call-to-action of any ads. Coke was asking people to vote before the end of the game to determine which of their characters would win (no spoilers, but visit to see it all). Axe was asking people to enter before midnigh to win a trip to spacet.

The biggest moment in my opinion wasn't the advertising that was on the TV, but Oreo's quick thinking to create the graphic related to the power outage. This was retweeted and shared by many. Tide also promoted the outage online with a clever graphic, as well. This was a fantastic way for brands to inject themselves into the conversations around the game using social to power their efforts.

I'm looking forward to the analysis on chatter around all the hash tags, as they seemed to be one of the biggest calls-to-action this year. With so many, it will be interesting to see what (if any) were used. Until next time!

David Hibbs is a senior strategic consultant at Responsys.

DMNotes is DMN's around-the-clock blog. Yes, a blog in 2016.

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