Checking in on the Super Bowl ad conversation post-game

We’ve been checking in on the conversation around the Big Game ads for the last few weeks, seeing what it was as teasers were released and how it changed as we got closer to kickoff. This year saw a lot of brands deciding to tackle political and social issues in their ads and this approach definitely generated a lot of buzz:

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Audi’s ad addressing equal pay was far and away the most mentioned on Twitter, followed by Budweiser’s ad highlighting the immigrant origins of its brewing company Anheuser-Busch. While 84 Lumber’s ad also addressing the topic of immigration was much-discussed, it was dwarfed by the conversation around the “sexy” Mr. Clean spot which generated a barrage of jokes from Twitter users.

Bud Light went in a different direction with its ad, resurrecting the ghost of its old spokesdog Spuds MacKenzie to remind us all of the power of friendship (aided by beer, naturally). Spuds’ former glory couldn’t match the controversy around many of these other ads, however, as Bud Light was the least-mentioned brand in this set that we looked at on Twitter.

Weighing in on social and political topics is always risky for a brand; even if the stance taken aligns with established brand values, those customers, fans and followers who disagree might leave for the competition or even call for a boycott. It seems like 2017 is the year many brands decided to take on that risk in their Super Bowl advertising— even if that risk was sexualizing a cleaning mascot.

This year truly brought out an array of commercials as exciting as the first-ever overtime game. And if you’re interested in deeper analysis of Super Bowl ads for your agency or want to see exactly how your brand is performing across social, let’s talk.

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