Are Social Media Mentions Important in TV Advertising?

Yesterday, many of us took part in the annual event that unites nearly everyone around football whether they are a fan or not. We have another Super Bowl in the books and a couple of things to consider.

  • The Silicon Valley finally didn’t get what it wants since the 49ers lost.
  • Baltimore (Charm City) gave the elder Harbaugh brother bragging rights at every family dinner until the end of time.
  • Social media was humming about ads and blackouts and actual football plays but had mixed results in the Super Bowl ads department.

Matt McGee did an excellent job of tracking social media mentions in Super Bowl ads over at Marketing Land. His chart sums it up nicely.


So what does this tells us? Quite a bit actually.

  • Twitter is clearly what advertisers view as the best way to tie TV and brands together. Twitter mentions in ads were up over 300% from last year’s game while Facebook mentions in ads were OFF by 50%. Sorry Google+, no love for you at all.
  • Even with all the hype advertisers seem to be extremely cautious about how they present their brands’ social presence in TV advertising. Are they afraid to distract from the message? What better time than the Super Bowl to get people to at least THINK about a Facebook presence or even Google+. Honestly, I don’t get it but that may just be me.
  • The ‘what’s happening now’ tenor of Twitter appears to be the gateway for most to help combine the worlds of TV and social media. I personally stayed away from Twitter because it can be distracting to someone like myself who really loves football. For me it’s ‘game first, ads and other stuff a distant second’. That’s not to say I didn’t use social media during the game. Rather than be in the rapids of Twitter I decided to stay in the relatively calm waters of more casual exchanges with a few friends via Facebook.

Now having said all of that, I have to wonder why so many advertisers avoided promoting their Facebook presence and there was even a 50% drop from last year? I think this says quite a bit about Facebook and its place in the social media landscape. Forget Google+. While I think it’s a tremendous platform for a variety of things (most are productivity related) it’s not a true social network and it not intended to be. Or if it is, Google is doing a terrible job of promoting it as such.

Facebook’s performance yesterday may have exposed a weakness of Facebook but it’s not the kind of thing that should alert the press and start to trumpet the end of Facebook as we know it. I suspect Facebook’s strength will be the ability of people to continue to talk about ads etc in the post game part of the advertising play. It’s this use of the social network that makes me scratch my head as to why brands seem reticent to promote their Facebook presence in their TV spots.

So what’s your take? Is Twitter the best way to mix TV and social? Is this kind of dismissal of sorts of Facebook a signal to the social media big boy? Personally I can’t make up my mind. One thing I can say is that we learned something from yesterday’s Super Bowl ads and that is that for now, Twitter and TV are BFF’s.

What’s your take?