Is there any bigger linchpin of a brand’s marketing calendar than the Super Bowl? An event that’s as much about the advertising as it is about the game. The cost for a 30-second spot during Super Bowl 50 on CBS: a cool $5 million – a price tag that’s doubled from 10 years ago.
On social media, the uptick in brands creating Super Bowl content has been incredible. Last year alone, we tracked over 14,700 unique pieces of content that brands published before the Super Bowl. When you take into account the big day itself, that number shoots up to 30,000.
Think about that for a second. After an exhausting six weeks, content creators still needed enough inspiration to publish an additional 15,000 unique pieces of content on game day – more than they’ve published in the build up to the game!
Here’s how the total amount of content published on social media around the Super Bowl has changed over the years.
One interesting trend is how important the second and third weeks from game day have become. Brands are ramping up their campaigns earlier and earlier. This year, we’ve seen brands published as far out as five weeks ahead of the game.
On game day, more Super Bowl content is published on social media than in the weeks leading up to the game. The biggest winner of the content explosion has been Twitter, suggesting that any reports of the demise of the social network are greatly exaggerated.
Since 2012, Twitter has seen an 885 percent increase in the amount of Super Bowl content being published by brands on game day. In 2015, brands sent a staggering 11,800 tweets on game day, an 82 percent increase on the year before.
Facebook and Instagram have all seen steady increases over the last four years. Super Bowl related brand content on Instagram during game day has increased by 330 percent while on Facebook it’s grown by 190 percent.
Overall, we’ve seen a 615 percent increase in Super Bowl brand content being published on game day compared to 2012. Last year, brands posted 56 percent more content on game day than they did in 2014.
This dip was most pronounced on Facebook where there were 375 fewer Super Bowl posts published in the seven weeks before the game. In 2016, brands have still published 200 fewer Super Bowl posts than they did at this stage in 2014.
On Twitter, brands are doing the opposite of their Facebook strategy. Here, brands are publishing more content than ever before. If the last few weeks have been anything to go by, brands are about to break all records for amount of content published around the Super Bowl this year.
On Instagram, the volume of Super Bowl content published in the lead up to game day hasn’t changed too drastically. As with Facebook, 2014 saw slightly more content being published on Instagram compared to 2015. Current trends for 2016 look like 2014 will retain its title as the year most content was published around the Super Bowl before game day.
So far in 2016, brands have published a similar number of Super Bowl related videos as they had done this time last year. That’s still a little behind the number of videos that brands had published in 2014. In 2014, brands published a total of 305 Super Bowl related videos.
It’s clear that brands are tweaking their content publishing strategies when it comes to the Super Bowl. In 2014, brands focused on creating more content in the build up to the big day, but that strategy changed in 2015. Brands published less content in the run up to the Super Bowl but took to Twitter in the hundreds on game day to publish more Super Bowl content on one day than they had in the prior seven weeks.
This report was put together using the content published by over 40,000 brands and captured by Unmetric. Content that included mentions of the Super Bowl or common words associated with the Super Bowl like SB49 or Big Game were used to compile the data on publishing volumes.
Peter Claridge is the manager of global marketing for Unmetric.