Was Anyone Watching the Game? The Super Bowl Nearly Beat the Presidential Debates in Number of Tweets

By Devon Glenn 

Sunday night’s finale to the NFL football season sparked many a conversation on Twitter — and the subject wasn’t always the score. The Super Bowl provided plenty of downtime for tweeting while the Ravens were crushing the 49ers in the first half and even more so during the blackout in the third quarter.

The 2013 Super Bowl was the subject of 26,131,270 tweets, according to SocialGuide. The social TV measurement provider counted 5,280,048 unique users who tweeted about the game that night, with an average of 486 followers per person. The 2012 Presidential debates, by comparison, received 27.63 million tweets for all three broadcasts combined.

Excluding the ads, Twitter counted 24.1 million tweets about the game and halftime show. The highlights, according to Twitter:

  • Jacoby Jones’ 108-yard kickoff return for the Ravens touchdown: 185,000 tweets per minute (TPM) Near the end of the second quarter, when he caught a 56-yard pass for another Ravens touchdown, fans were buzzing at the rate of 168,000 TPM.

Jacoby Jones topped the list of conversations, along with Ray Lewis (@Raylewis), Joe Flacco (@teamflacco), and Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7).

Beyoncé’s halftime show generated 5.5 million tweets.

  • When the singer brought her former bandmates from Destiny’s Child on stage with her, the community responded at a rate of 257,500 TPM.
  • Beyoncé’s rendition of the popular “Single Ladies” was also a highlight, setting off 252,500 TPM.
  • At the end of the show, Beyoncé went out with a bang at 268,000 TPM.

When the lights went out the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in quarter three, the second screen continued to light the way. There were 231,500 TPM related to the blackout, making the least active moment of the game one of  the most-talked about moment of the night.

As for the ads, Boston.com’s Brand Bowl 2013 results showed that Volkswagon’s “Get In, Get Happy” was the most popular ad that evening.

  • Volkswagon’s commercial sparked 86,614 tweets, 69 percent of which were positive.
  • Bud Light’s “Lucky Chair” followed in popularity with more tweets (86,880 in all), but a slightly lower sentiment score of 68 percent.
  • Calvin Klein’s racy underwear ad rounded out the top three with a high approval rating of 70 percent out of 68,954 tweets.

Networked Insights had a much higher count for the number of tweets related to the ads. The top three were:

  • GoDaddy’s “Perfect Match”  (255,121)
  • Taco Bell “Viva Young”  (213,125)
  • Calvin Klein “Concept 30”  (209,539)

The most tweeted hashtags:

  1. #Clydesdales (Budweiser)
  2. #Doritos (Pepsi Frito-Lay)
  3. #CrackInStyle (Wonderful Pistachios)
  4. #CalvinKlein (Calvin Klein)
  5. #GodMadeAFarmer (Ram)

The most popular celebrity cameos:

  1. PSY cracking pistachios to “Gangnam Style” was the most-talked about appearance.
  2. Amy Poehler’s controversial Best Buy appearance (in which she mildy harassed a salesman) was overall the most well-received appearance of the night.
  3. Paul Rudd
  4. Lebron James
  5. Seth Rogen

As for Twitter’s overall place in the blogosphere, Networked Insights counted 24 million social media conversations taking place in real-time across Twitter, Facebook, and other blogs and forums throughout the Super Bowl. But don’t get too excited, Ravens fans — more than 6 million of those conversations were about Beyoncé.

Image by Christos Georghiou