Super Bowl ad campaigns on social media that caught my attention (2020 – Miami – 49ers vs. Chiefs)

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

It used to be a thing to be surprised and sometimes amazed by Super Bowl ads commercials when they ran during the game on Super Bowl Sunday.

Unique side story: The first Super Bowl I watched live had no ads at all. That was in 1992 when the Redskins hoisted the trophy.

I watched in Germany and the US ads were not allowed locally and there were no German ads yet. Football was still new. The first teams formed just 14 years earlier.

During commercial breaks the camera just sat there on a wide shot of the field.

That was pre-social media and today, Super Bowl ads are “leaked” and shown on Twitter and other places around the web ahead of the game:

Days before the big game, “Super Bowl ads” was seeing 500-some tweets an hour or 9 a minute. That’s way more than for the hashtag #superbowlads which had about 9 tweets/hour when I checked. Maybe hashtags aren’t that important after all?

Then there were political Super Bowl ad tweets. The Trump campaign was offering a preview to a “limited group” of the first million people:

There will be a commercial bought by a man to thank the vets who saved his dog.

The Mediapost is also reporting that there will be longer commercials – storytelling for the win, maybe.

Influencer Twitter Ads promoted by the brand

Katie Couric, who has over 1 million followers, is leading the #makespaceforwomen campaign with Olay. The company is donating funds to Girls Who Code for every time the hashtag gets used.

I didn’t know that brands can promote influencer tweets. Something to keep in mind if you work with brands.

In this case, she posted the tweet and then Olay promoted it to reach even more people, including me. It showed up as a promoted tweet in my timeline.

The video has been viewed almost 200,000 times by the time I saw it. The same video got another 50,000 views on the Olay account at time of writing.

Katie also pinned the tweet to the top of her timeline:

Read Next: Why pinning tweets works


Bank United is running a contest on Twitter for one participant to win $54,000 – it’s Super Bowl 54 after all – if a team completes a 2-point conversion one random participant wins.

Bank United also is doing a nice job responding to participants.

I would say the chances for a two-point conversion are low, but you never know.

And how about Mr. Peanut?

Shortly before the Super Bowl, Mr. Peanut died.

I would not be surprised if there was a plan to end up seeing him crawl out from under the wreckage during the game’s commercial breaks.

Planters did the right thing and paused all ads when Kobe Bryant, his daughter and others died in a helicopter crash.

Before the tragic crash involving Kobe, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Mr. Peanut come back. What will happen now? Tough decision. And maybe it was never the plan to tie it to the Super Bowl.

Planters already got a lot of coverage and word-of-mouth marketing out of this campaign.

Don’t forget about responding

Last year Sam Adams did a nice job responding to the corn syrup threads after other beer commercials ran Super Bowl ads with that topic.

Monitor and respond when it makes sense. Consider Amanda Saunders-Johnston’s tips from the Business Storytelling Podcast on when to insert yourself into discussions and when not to.

Wrap – Super Bowl ads

Super Bowl ads are certainly a numbers’ game. So many people are paying attention. Just shy of 100 million still watch the game live.

Certainly 540 tweets an hour can’t be kept up with but I’m still ok with brands trying to maximize their campaigns across all channels.

After all it’s about creating buzz and awareness around your brand.

Then there are the traditionalists, who prefer to not talk about Super Bowl ads until the game.

Adcontrarian Bob Hoffman is in that camp as well. He’s not talking until Sunday.

Personally, I’m okay with companies running ads early and trying to maximize exposure. It’s certainly getting harder and harder – even with huge audiences.