Read our pre-game impact report to see who had momentum coming into the big game.

On Sunday, 73 percent of households tuned-in for the golden anniversary of the Super Bowl. Advertisers have long coveted Super Bowl viewership and paid mightily for the privilege, but this year proved a single 30 second spot is no longer enough.

Using 4C’s advertising analytics tools, we measured more than 30 million social media engagements, identified TV content in 210 US designated market areas and tracked 96 brands to see who was making an impact during the Super Bowl.


Looking at social media engagement on Facebook and Twitter throughout the game, the highest volume was achieved during the halftime show by the performers, Coldplay, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars.

The Broncos scored the biggest social lift among the competing teams as the final seconds ticked off the clock to victory.

Among advertisers, the peak moments proved to be midway through the first quarter when Doritos aired its “Hungry Baby” spot, during halftime as Pepsi (and Chris Martin) rode the coattails of the musical stars, and at the end of the game when the Broncos were crowned champions.


When looking at the advertisers making the biggest impact on gameday, the winners were the ones thinking outside the 30 second spot.

Since 2013, Pepsi has invested heavily to align with an iconic moment of the Super Bowl, the halftime show. By putting its red, white and blue globe on 30 minutes that’s guaranteed to be talked about every year, Pepsi has made a lasting mark on the big game narrative and this year was no different as it scored the highest overall social media engagement.

Budweiser received a trophy of its own when it was able to capitalize on the endorsement from one of the most influential NFL players to have ever played the game. Peyton Manning’s candid mention of the beer, drove more engagement than either of Budweiser’s spots, including the one starring another icon, Helen Mirren. For added value, the 5-second clip has been rebroadcast more than 2,400 times on 673 channels around the world.

Doritos’ Crash The Super Bowl turns two 30 second spots into a multi-month activation and giving consumers the chance to participate in what happens during the Super Bowl. Campaigning for votes before event has the added benefit of increasing engagement before the Super Bowl as well.

No doubt a free endorsement (and Bud is claiming it didn’t pay for that plug) ­from the right person on a global stage will carry a brand far, but relying on that is as unpredictable as the NFL season. Similarly, sponsoring the halftime show may be out of reach for many advertisers, even those who can come up with $5 million for a 30 second spot. Regardless, the imperatives for brands from Super Bowl 50 are clear. First, be sure to have proper analytics in place to measure lift before, during, and after the game and tie that back to your overall goals to assess media value. Second, don’t rely on advertising alone to generate engagement and be sure you’re surrounding your audience at all times and touchpoints. Think outside the spot!