5 ways social media changed “The Big Game”

1.       People kept their eye on the…ball?

Actually, they didn’t.  According to Mashable, 24.1 million tweets were sent during the course of the game and Beyonce’s halftime show.  That means that on average, about 5 million tweets were sent each hour of the programming.  As we all know, social media takes formerly single-screen experiences and transforms them into multi-screen, multi-dimensional experiences.  Whether a football fan, Beyonce fan, or just an observer, an online conversation was ready and waiting for you last night, and odds are you chimed in.

2.       People demanded more.

Entergy

It seemed that everyone involved in last night’s game was up for public critique, from the broadcasters, to power companies, to performers, not to mention the players and coaches.  From a public relations standpoint, this provided plenty of interesting examples of how brands can best respond to such criticism.  For example, Entergy, the power company for the Superdome, updated their Twitter feed with information on their efforts to find the source of the 34-minute outage, and even released a joint statement with the managers of the Superdome today. Every communications manager from every organization even remotely connected to such a huge event was on-call last night, as should be the case in our world where crises never sleep.

3.       A blackout blew up.

Rather than losing viewers due to technical difficulties during a game that seemed to be no-contest, CBS actually gained viewers, said one Yahoo! News report.  How did this happen? Likely the same way that Tracy Morgan and Jimmy Kimmel’s Emmy awards fainting hoax did.  The news of the blackout went viral on Facebook and Twitter, and people tuned in immediately.

4.       #AdBowl winners won, instantly.

According to Mashable, 30% of the tweets during the game were about the advertisements.  Breaking this down further, they mapped out exactly which brands were the most talked-about in the online conversations, with Taco Bell and Budweiser taking the lead.  While these numbers do not factor in the question of positive vs. negative mentions, they certainly provide a good basis upon which the winners and losers of last night’s #AdBowl can be judged.

5.      A good ad gained value.

For those companies that created the most popular ads of last night, they got far more than their money’s worth.  The ad they would have paid millions for ten years ago suddenly gets thousands of free viewers as it spreads through social media.  Bad ads, however, become worse catastrophes.  Rather than being complained about on a couch of four people and forgotten minutes later, they are torn apart online over and over.  Thanks to social media, there was much more than just the Lombardi trophy at stake last night.

Congratulations to my favorite Twitter success of the evening….oreo

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