10 ‘Brands’ That Won the Super Bowl on Social Media

It was supposed to be a "Real-Time Marketing Bowl," no?

With well over 12 hours separating us from the end of Super Bowl XLIX, we can declare the big winners (The Patriots, The NFL, Budweiser and, to a lonely few, Frasier) as well as the most obvious losers (GoDaddy and Nationwide).

But we live in a real-time marketing world now, so the next question follows: ads aside, which brands “won” the Big Game?

1. Audi

This one wasn’t quite “real-time” since the Business Insider post in question went live more than six hours before the tweet…and the interview itself aired earlier in the week. But it was still a “sick burn,” as the kids say.

Of course, the brand didn’t address this statement from Couric: “[My husband] actually has a BMW, but I’m scared to drive it because it’s so nice.”

No one would ever say that about an Audi.

2. Ready for Hillary

This “political action committee” group isn’t directly associated with Mrs. Clinton herself, but someone knows how to jump on the trending hashtag train. Again, we have a feeling a manager scheduled this one as soon as they heard that Always would be running its “Like a Girl” campaign again during the Big Game.

We also like puns.

3. JetBlue

Another case of clever meme-jumping speaks for itself:

4. Monster

This tweet was technically an ad produced by New York agency BBDO — but didn’t it feel more like a brand that you’d forgotten coming back to your attention in a very clever way?

5. Coca-Cola

Coke got very aggressive with its RTM efforts during the game. Here, the company turned our tweet about the negativity of the Nationwide ad into a smiling graphic:

6. Cheerios

Another case of a company saving an image for just the right moment…which happened, in this case, to be the game-ending interception.

7. Charmin

The kings of toilet paper are good at inserting themselves into any digital conversation, and they knew that everyone in Coke’s “war room” would be monitoring its key hashtag:


8. Nissan and Doritos

The cynic inside us might accuse these two of conspiring ahead of time to ensure that Nissan had the graphics ready to go…but the thirty minute gap between the first and last tweets in the series below could have allowed for a designer to make it look right:

Here’s the follow up:

9. Larry King

No, Larry King isn’t technically a “brand”…but he certainly chose the best possible time to get super weird on Twitter. As everyone else discussed the game and the ads, he took the moment to ask such timeless questions as:



That’s a statement, not a question. But still.

We don’t follow Larry King and we don’t plan to watch his show anytime soon…but this stream-of-consciousness nonsense made us wonder who handles his social media accounts, because we’re almost certain that the man himself is NOT the responsible party.

10. Totino’s:

A topic for debate: many, many professionals in the marketing field questioned the wisdom of Totino’s (obviously intentional) plan to make light of the “RTM” phenomenon by running a series of tweets about the Super Bowl 24 hours before the game itself:

Note the intentional misspellings and the #sparts tag.

Our colleagues at Adweek called the stunt “not an accident” but “a stroke of genius,” because it came during an otherwise slow period for the antisocial groups we know as “media Twitter” and “weird Twitter.”

Scott Monty of SHIFT Communications, on the other hand, called it “insulting to the marketing community” for making light of the work done by those in the field.

We found it very slightly amusing, and there’s no doubt that it raised awareness of the Pizza Rolls brand within the journalistic community. But here’s what came to our minds when we first saw the messages: “Pizza rolls? We haven’t eaten those in a long time…because they were always kind of gross.”

We also saw no boom in followers for the brand and, like Monty, we have to wonder how much the stunt influenced sales.

What do you think, readers? And who did we miss?