Social Media Observations: The Brand Bowl

Last night, I sat in a room filled with Onward State staffers as the New England Patriots took on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI (#SB46). You might say that we’re a pretty hip group, so as you can imagine, we were constantly checking our Twitter streams during the game. As we shared the funniest and most interesting tweets from the various accounts that we collectively follow, I began to notice a common theme – about 98% of the tweets on our timelines were about the commercials.

I can only speak for myself on this one, but my timeline was full of tweets containing the hashtag “#brandbowl.” One account I follow used the thumbs-up and thumbs-down symbols on his phone to rate each ad during the commercial breaks. A few other people who I follow spent the evening tweeting their thoughts on the success of each brand’s campaign. Throughout the evening, I saw about ten of these types of tweets for every tweet I saw about the game itself.  Twitter sometimes feels like a completely different world, and in this world, the Brand Bowl rules.

When you hear the term “Brand Bowl,” you probably think of some business professionals analyzing the marketing campaigns of different brands during the big game. Well, think again. Most of the tweets I saw last night were from Penn State students and other students across the country. With the changing times and increased usage of social media, students have found more enriching opportunities to share their ideas. Who would have thought that so many intellectual discussions could spring from Super Bowl advertisements?

A few years ago, Super Bowl ads were just another fun part of the “holiday” that we call Super Bowl Sunday. Now, especially for young people, they pave the way for discussions that everyone can partake in. Regardless of your sports background or major, it is easy to give your input. Football always seems to be something that American students unite over, whether it be cheering on their university, rooting for their professional favorite team, or teasing their roommates when their teams are opposing. True as that may be, you can really only talk about and analyze football so much, and a pretty good amount of previous knowledge is necessary to do so. When it comes to commercials, the possibilities are endless, and this was proven last night via social media.

Some of the most popular ads based on my timeline were the classic Coca Cola polar bear ads, the Tax Act “Feel the Free” ad, and the H&M ad featuring David Beckham (this one went over very well with the ladies).  Personally, I loved the M&M LMFAO ad.

Gone are the days when we would go into school the next day and struggle to remember each of these commercials in order to talk about them with our friends. The future is here, and in the future, commercials beat football.

What were the most popular ads among you and your friends? Did they spark more conversation than the game itself?

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