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Dodge throws touchdown, then fumbles their Super Bowl ads

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Dodge throws touchdown, then fumbles their Super Bowl ads

One of the hottest topics on social media these past few days has been the Super Bowl commercials.  Many viewers tune in just to watch these ads, ignoring the game itself.  But how did people like them?  How effective are these ads?  We looked at tens of millions of social media sites for mentions of Super Bowl ads using IBM Watson Analytics for Social Media to answer these questions.

The joy of victory…

One of the biggest hits of the night came from Dodge, with their spot about Vikings traveling across the Atlantic to watch the big game, only to be disappointed to hear that their team didn’t make it.  Audiences loved this ad. 78% of social media posts about this commercial were positive overall.  This was the most-loved commercial of the game.

This was a great start to the night.  They topped competitor Toyota, whose highly-mentioned multi-faith ad sits at only 41% positive.

… The agony of defeat

In the second quarter of the game, Dodge took a wrong turn.  They aired an ad with a voice-over from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and social media did not react well.  It was the most negatively received ad of the night. While audiences directed some positive sentiment around the topic, this was mostly from the actual content of the MLK speech. Using the civil rights activist to sell automobiles is clearly not what the audience advises.


The long game

This may be especially impactful because the Dodge MLK ad is also the second most mentioned ad of the entire game, and it continues to stay top-of-mind.  Mentions of most ads have tapered off quickly, but the Dodge MLK ad is holding a steady share of voice, a share that is increasingly negative.

Mentions of most Super Bowl ads drop off rapidly, but in the case of the Amazon Alexa ad, it’s actually trending higher 24 hours after the game, and that trend is almost all positive.  It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks if this Alexa ad continues to to be mentioned.

AlexaTrend Ads

The most mentioned ads of the game by a long shot were the spots for Tide laundry detergent. Over half of all Tide mentions are positive.  Kraft, on the other hand, is barely registering on social media.

Blockbuster Wars

In the battle of the movie trailers, Han Solo took down Duane ‘The Rock’ Johnson, with the Star Wars teaser garnering almost 6 times the mentions than Johnson’s upcoming ‘Skyscraper’ film.  The Han Solo teaser garnered more than double the share of voice than the Jurassic Park and Avengers trailer.

However, they were both completely eclipsed by the Crocodile Dundee trailer. Actually, this wasn’t a trailer at all but an ad for Australia tourism.  At 72% positive, that’s more positive reactions than of any Super Bowl ad.  Maybe they should turn this into a real movie after all.

Social media sentiment as a powerful tool for Ads

Social media sentiment is a powerful tool in measuring the success of advertising campaigns.  We’ll continue to monitor these ads over the coming weeks to see which ones have the most staying power.

This is just one use for social media analytics. You can also use social media analytics to gauge brand health and perform product research to stay ahead of your competitors. Cut time on expensive focus groups or time-consuming surveys, which might only deliver part of the picture. With social media analytics, sorting through millions of social sources across the internet occurs in a snap. IBM Watson Analytics for Social Media can analyze your own ads, business, products, and experiences, and deliver insights into the mind of your audience with easy-to-understand visualizations.  Get started today with a 30-day free trial, available at

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