February 15, 2013 - Comments Off on Super Bowl 2013: Pepsi beat Coca Cola but Oreo steal the real time engagement crown

Super Bowl 2013: Pepsi beat Coca Cola but Oreo steal the real time engagement crown

We used Whisper, Bloom’s earned-media planning tool, to analyse the Twitter conversation surrounding Super Bowl 2013 in real-time. Other advertising analysis that we’ve read about the Super Bowl fails to describe how the impact of an ad changes on a minute by minute basis.

By analysing the Twitter conversation surrounding Super Bowl 2013 in real time, we found the following:

  • Oreo won the battle of real time engagement, beating the only other real contender – Audi -in terms of True Influence.  This was because of Oreo’s great content that was created in real time.
  • Pepsi generated a True Influence score that was significantly higher than Coca Cola’s. Pepsi beat Coke.
  • Pepsi’s involvement of Tyler Oakley – a self-styled “fan girl” – was extremely insightful.
  • Tyler Oakley’s True Influence score was higher than Budweiser’s at times.
  • Budweiser’s ad won the Ad Meter poll, but our insight shows the brand’s True Influence having an effect only in the fourth quarter. It’s a great example of an ad where the True Influence was very high, but only towards the end of the Super Bowl.

How did we do this?

Using Whisper – Bloom’s earned media planning tool – we analysed the Twitter conversation in the run up, during and after the Super Bowl. Whisper calculated a real time True Influence score for each of the brands present in the conversation by measuring all of the possible ways that information can flow around social networks.  An account with high True Influence has more ways of really spreading a message than someone with a lower score.  This is because they have encouraged multiple communities to get involved in that conversation: more communities means more ways of sharing content.

Oreo beats Audi in real time engagement

Oreo’s impact on the 2013 Super Bowl will be remembered not because of their ad – which aired during the first quarter of the game – but for what they did in real time during the game itself. During the much-reported power cut, Oreo tweeted a piece of content that started a conversation about the brand in a way which dominated the final hours of the Super Bowl. It’s a tweet that’s been heralded by many reports as a genius piece of content.

It wasn’t just Oreo that had the nouse to use the black out as way to engage in real time.  Audi also tweeted:

Audi tweeted first and their True Influence score started to increase, following their tweet.  Oreo tweeted soon after and their True Influence score also increased.  What’s interesting though is that Audi’s true influence starts to fall away again quite quickly, whereas the True Influence for Oreo continues to build.

Even when the lights came back on, people wanted to keep sharing Oreo’s content because it was funny, brilliantly executed and matched the tone of the conversation.  Audi’s involvement was good – but not quite good enough to match the impact of Oreo’s execution.

Bloom’s analysis gives a clue as to why Oreo got more exposure than Audi.  Content which goes viral touches more communities more quickly than content which doesn’t reach virility.  The key is to find links between communities to help spread the message as quickly as possible to new communities who will then keep sharing.

The graph shows a clear tipping point in the Audi True Influence from their real time engagement.  Our network studies show that the rate at which new communities were getting involved in the Audi conversation drops suddenly; the conversation kept going but people were talking to people who already know about the content.

Oreo’s True Influence continued to rise. The tipping point was less distinct and takes longer to be reached.  This is because new communities continued to start to talk about the Oreo content and the message continued to spread for longer.

The diagram above shows different communities talking about the Super Bowl at 0600GMT on the Sunday morning.  You can see different communities being linked together by a small number of “bridge” individuals, as well as lots of small communities sat around the edge of the diagram.  Our analysts study these diagrams, and how they change over time, to help us draw conclusions about how communities come together and share content.

Pepsi vs. Coca Cola

Pepsi sponsored the half time show.  Coke didn’t.  Pepsi won the battle between Pepsi and Coke in terms of True Influence generated on Super Bowl Sunday.

During the half time show, Pepsi achieved a significantly higher True Influence score than Coca Cola. The Coca Cola True Influence score stays relatively flat, whereas Pepsi’s True Influence peaks significantly.  The peaks are linked to specifics of the half time show, such as Beyonce’s performance.

Pepsi and Tyler Oakley

Pepsi invited Tyler Oakley, a self styled “fan girl”, to get involved with their social media coverage.  Tyler tweeted throughout the Superbowl weekend and his True Influence can be seen in the graph below.  At various points during half time, Tyler Oakley’s True Influence was higher than that of Budweiser.  Pepsi’s decision to involve an influential blogger in their social media strategy has paid off.


Up to this point, you might be wondering how Budweiser could have won the Ad Meter poll for best ad, when their True Influence was less than a fan girl tweeting about his involvement with the Super Bowl though Pepsi.  If we look at what happens after 0230GMT we see a sudden spike in True Influence for Budweiser.

The Budweiser ad aired in the fourth quarter and the True Influence it generated for the brand can be clearly seen.  A fine grained approach to time is hugely important in this kind of impact analysis.

Looking at how the True Influence changes over time allows us to see some fine detail which would otherwise be missed.  If we only calculated True Influence over one block of time, we’d see that Budweiser had the highest True Influence.  But, they missed a trick in achieving greater True Influence earlier on during the half show time show.  How does a brand understand how best to execute real time engagement?  Maybe a greater understanding of why Oreo beat Audi, or Pepsi’s blogger engagement strategy, could have helped Budweiser achieve greater True Influence for longer.

A note of thanks

Bloom would like to thank DataSift for their help in providing data on which to base this study.  Whisper uses data from DataSift in real time to help brands understand the power of their social data.