This Super Bowl, did you compete on the sidelines, or get in the game? Even if you can afford a commercial spot, there’s no guarantee it will cut through the noise of halftime shows, party conversations, and all the other flashy ads. For digital marketers, the only sure way to get in the game is to integrate your brand with the action using ongoing, real-time, customer engagement tactics.

Social media is a powerfully effective game day channel for engaging viewers and generating buzz. Last year’s most talked about campaign was Oreo’s “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” Twitter graphic, a speedy response to the unforeseen halftime black out. This year, every social media manager sat hoping for their own black-out moment.

Adobe’s social marketing team spotted a window of opportunity in the Super Bowl marketing frenzy: it took to Twitter to show how a B2B brand could create conversation within the marketing community about digital strategies, build 1:1 relationships with other teams, and impact the storyline of Super Bowl marketing. The team wanted to demonstrate how brands could effectively augment ad space on game day with social media. Adobe used the unified focus of a massive event to bring meaningful conversations to our unique audience: other marketers. The team did this through a fun and exciting three-pronged strategy, which we hope will spark some ideas for your brand.

1. War Room Deliveries

We delivered gift baskets full of gourmet snacks to famished war room workers so they could enjoy a Super Bowl party of their own. Twitter was our outreach hub for coordinating these delicious deliveries.

2. Real-Time Recognition

We also used Twitter to call out examples of smart marketing as they occurred throughout the Big Game. We recognized marketing teams who would otherwise be laboring behind the scenes and engaged them in conversations about their own creative decisions.

3. Real-Time Adobe Digital Index insights

The Adobe Marketing Cloud team published and amplified real-time insights produced by the Adobe Digital Index team regarding Super Bowl campaigns. Our goal was to turn the latest digital index report from a lengthy, data-filled document into shareable, socially consumable tips.

How You Tackled Social Media This Game Day

Adobe’s social marketing team watched as you made great plays across social channels before, during, and after the Super Bowl events. The best ads and tweets are still drawing cheers. We noticed several trends emerging from the many strategies at play on the digital field.

1. You Played in the #HashtagBowl

There were more tweets than ever during this year’s Super Bowl, and more than half of all TV ads mentioned hashtags or social media monikers. Marketing Land’s #HashtagBowl helped marketers track which campaigns were generating the most buzz.

Some of the hottest hashtags? Budweiser’s #BestBuds kept its popular puppy theme trending well beyond the game. Users calling the company’s TV spot “the best commercial of the night” asked others to “retweet if you cried!” making Budweiser the “most discussed advertiser” of the day.

Chobani had the second largest “social lift among food brands,” creating a #HowMatters movement alongside its ad of a grizzly ransacking a store for the company’s honey Greek yogurt. And RadioShack surprised everyone with the success of its throwback #InWithTheNew campaign.

Another surprise winner was DiGiornio’s humorous #DiGiorNOYOUDIDNT moment, which leveraged the #SuperSmack trend to tweet “YO, THIS GAME IS LIKE A DIGIORNO PIZZA BECAUSE IT WAS DONE AFTER TWENTY MINUTES #SuperBowI #SuperSmack #DiGiorNOYOUDIDNT.” @DiGiornoPizza currently has nearly 17,500 retweets for that late-in-the-game chuckle.

2. You Released Commercials on Your Own Time

As early as the Thursday before the game, 22 companies had released their commercials online. Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” commercial garnered more than 14 million YouTube views before it ever aired on TV. GoDaddy created multiple ads, sharing a few before the game to build anticipation and create a story arch that had viewers invested by the time its Super Bowl spot went live.

Early releases show marketers were thinking more about building ongoing conversations than making a one-time splash. They were also a way to avoid times of peak competition and have a larger share of consumers’ attention. And dropping teasers and multiple ads helped companies guarantee a favorable cost per view. There’s risk involved in choosing a single air time: Will viewers tune out or stay glued to their screens by the fourth quarter?

Even after the game, extended cuts and “uncensored” ads continued rolling (see, for example, ads by RadioShack and SodaStream). Our new multichannel digital landscape allows marketers to release content when they want and how they want in order to optimize true reach.

3. You Put Fans Up Front

GoDaddy featured a real woman really quitting her job in front of 10 million Super Bowl viewers. Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” contest solicited fan-made commercials, then let viewers choose a million dollar prize winner. Doritos also gave free tickets to fans and seated them in their own Dorito shaped section. And Esurance offered viewers a chance to win $1.5 million by tweeting #EsuranceSave30 at the end of the game. The “Save 30” refers the 30 percent the brand saved by airing their commercial late, a sum they were offering back to one lucky fan.

Each of these campaigns generated tremendous engagement from consumers who enjoyed seeing the spotlight turned on real people and welcomed the chance to engage a brand in real time. Creating a game of your own for viewers to participate in alongside football heroes may be the trend to beat next year.

Is Anyone Watching Your Commercial?

During the Super Bowl, the Adobe Marketing Cloud team also promoted “Quiet,” the latest video in their “Do you know what your marketing is doing?” campaign. The video depicts a group of Super Bowl watchers rushing excitedly to the TV, only to turn their attention to their various mobile devices. An exciting commercial airs, but all eyes are glued to smartphone and tablet screens.

Social platforms provide multiple touch points with customers who are scrolling smartphone, tablet, and laptop screens under the glow of their TVs. That’s why marketers “need to pay attention to every screen—not just the big screen—when they game-plan for the Super Bowl.” And now that the Super Bowl frenzy has died down, marketers need to think about the value of omnichannel experiences in their long-term strategies.


Yes, Social media is gaining more significance in digital marketing. This trend will certainly improve the quality of contents as here the viewers matter and not the search engine