The best part about Super Bowl XLVIII was the hashtags. Yes I said it, the hashtags. This year more than ever, ads by your favorite brands either incorporated hashtags or were built fully around one. According to MarketingLand, 58% of ads that aired during the Super Bowl included a hashtag.
So why were there so many hashtags? You can blame it on social media and the fact it allows viewers to become a part of the brand’s conversation. There is nothing more valuable to a brand than content generated by a brand enthusiast. As a marketer, it makes complete sense: hashtags provide a way to track and organize conversations pertaining to that ad across all social media platforms. It also allows users to effortlessly see what others are saying about the ad. All-in-all it builds a community around not only the ad but also the brand as a whole.
Let’s take a look at some hashtags that stood out about the rest.
— KFC (@kfc) February 2, 2014
KFC centered a campaign around the hashtag #HowdoyouKFC and even placed the hashtag on a chicken bowl. The hashtag was present throughout the entire commercial and asked views to submit their photos of how they KFC. This is an effective campaign that gets consumers involved, all while putting the product on display.
Results: In the past three days #HowdoyouKFC has generated more than 2,000 Tweets.
— Heinz Ketchup (@HeinzKetchup_US) February 3, 2014
Heinz did a great job with the commercial they named, “Hum.” Although the hashtag #IfYoureHappy by itself doesn’t scream Heinz ketchup, once it’s combined with the commercial it make complete sense.
Results: In the past two days, #IfYoureHappy has generated more than 1,100 Tweets.
— Budweiser Puppy (@BudweiserPuppy) February 3, 2014
Budweiser never disappoints when it comes to super bowl ads and this year was no different. Already considered one of the best ads of the day, this particular ad, BestBuds, tapped into an emotional connection that got all dog lovers talking.
Results: In the past three days, #BestBuds has generated over 4,000 tweets.
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) February 3, 2014
Coca-Cola has stuck to the formula that always gets its commercials attention and respect: representing the people of the world, and more specifically America. Coca-cola is the soda of the people and the soda of America, and in this commercial they shine a light on the people that make America beautiful and match it with the hashtag #AmericaIsBeautiful.
Results: In the past three days, #Americaisbeautiful has generated more than 5,000 tweets.
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 2, 2014
T-Mobile is the cell phone provider that no longer requires a contract, and they kept their hashtag very simple and to the point with #NoContract. They really drove the commercial home with Tim Tebow, who always gathers a lot of attention.
Results: In the past three days #NoContract has generated more than 12,000 Tweets.
Bud Light: #UpForWhatever
— Bud Light (@budlight) February 2, 2014
Bud Light, the popular brand of Budweiser, also took a shot at using a hashtag in its commercial with #UpForWhatever. This fun commercial was literally the life of the party. It drives home the point that Bud Light is the perfect beer for whatever happens.
Results: In the past three days, #UpForWhatever has generated more than 3,000 Tweets.
— Honda (@Honda) February 3, 2014
Honda’s Hug Fest commercial starring Bruce Willis was one weird ad, but to my surprise it has been extremely successful on Twitter. The hashtag #HugFest has gained substantial momentum.
Results: In the past three days, #Hugfest has generated more than 30,000 Tweets.
Hats off to our friends @Pepsi for a great halftime show, and for keeping the lights on this year… so far.
— Doritos (@Doritos) February 3, 2014
Where is the creativity? Doritos kept it very close to the vest with #Doritos. Not my favorite as I would look for something a little more out of the box from a brand that has done such creative work in the past.
Results: In the last two days, #Doritos has generated more 16,000 Tweets.
Get ready. Nice things are about to go down. #WeKnowThisTweetIsVagueSoYoullJustHaveToWaitAndSeeOK? #NiceHashtag
— Hyundai USA (@Hyundai) February 2, 2014
Hyundai knew what would be trending in this year’s super bowl and had a little fun at it with their hashtag, #NiceHashtag. It matched the theme of the commercial well but didn’t do much for the brand.
Results: In the last two days, #NiceHashtag has generated more than 9,000 Tweets.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: #SpiderMan
— Spider-Man (@SpiderManMovie) February 3, 2014
Again, where is the creativity? This is just boring. Simply using #SpiderMan doesn’t do anything extra for the brand. Hash tagging the name of the movie alone will get lost with all other SpiderMan tags which I’m sure are already popular.
Results: In the last two days, #Spiderman has generated more than 3,000 Tweets.
Overall, the most exciting part of the Super Bowl was watching the ads and the creativity that brands demonstrated between hashtags. Hashtags have been gaining momentum in the last several years and were at the forefront of action this year.
I commend all the brands that took a shot at it, there is really no right or wrong way to approach creating a hashtag campaign, but some just resonate better than others. I’d love to know what you think. Did I miss one that you think stood out as either good or bad? Let us know in the comments.