Super Bowl LVI:
The brands that won the big game
In our latest report, we looked at the brands that made the biggest splash with their ads, as well as coverage of the game more broadly. We’ve got some of the highlights here, but you can download the full report with even more insights below.
& Electric cars
Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most-watched events in the world — a spectacle that brings friends, families, teammates, and brands together to take part in a US cultural phenomenon.
The game itself brings excitement, but for many, that’s not the main reason for tuning in, as each year brands battle it out to produce the best Super Bowl ad, and the halftime show adds more legendary musicians to its already impressive roster.
This year, we saw a few themes emerge within the types of ads that ran. Of course, the usual big players in the food & beverage game played their hand, but cryptocurrency made a splash among commercials, earning the nickname of the “crypto bowl” from some publishers.
Cars are also often among the favorites, but this year the majority of auto brands featured electric vehicles, which have received a notable amount of engagement.
Brands are used to competing against each other for a chance to capture interest during the game, but we can’t forget about this year’s halftime performers who, compared to past Super Bowls, completely dominated in terms of public engagement.
The performances from hip-hop greats like Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and Mary J Blige leaned heavily into nostalgia and displayed a love for LA history that was later praised by celebrities and millennial audiences.
Although the Super Bowl is a uniquely American event, the hype around the game goes far beyond a solely American audience, with media coverage from international publishers and fans across the world sharing posts on social platforms.
For that reason, we have explored the media and public interest leading up to the Super Bowl and after the game concluded. We will also dive into the top articles about the halftime show, and highlight the brands whose ads have generated large amounts of engagement, such as Chevrolet’s Silverado, Coinbase’s QR code, and Budweiser’s famous Clydesdales.
Let’s begin with coverage of Super Bowl LVI more broadly.
engagements with articles about Super Bowl ads
articles written about the Super Bowl in February
Super bowl Ads
Super Bowl ads don’t just go viral on the day of the game, and there was a build-up to the ads across the two weeks before, in which there were broad discussions about both individual ads and the concept of them more broadly.
When it came to ads, there were three main themes that emerged. Two of those were for specific kinds of product, with cryptocurrency brokers and electric vehicles dominating the conversation.
The third theme was the tone of the ads themselves, which often tried to strike a nostalgic tone. The Silverado ad channeled The Sopranos, while Big Lebowski vibes were also served up, and iconic characters such as Dr. Evil and Jim Carrey’s Cable Guy were revived for a fresh 2022 perspective.
Let’s look at some of the top stories.
Public interest in the Super Bowl ads
Media interest in the Super Bowl ads
The Silverado ad was not one that was pre-announced, and that surprise factor helped it to have the highest engagement to earned media coverage about it during the 24-hour period before and after the game.
The ad fit two of the three unofficial themes of the evening by generating nostalgia around an electric vehicle, and was written about almost 1,000 times with more than 162k engagements to those articles — the most during the time period covered.
Top articles about the Silverado ad
AD: Rings of Power
Amazon Prime Video’s ‘The Rings of Power’ — an adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s work — has been in the works for years, but we finally got our first glimpse of it during the big game.
This was the second most covered ad on the day of the event, with more than 600 articles and 81k engagements. The coverage was mostly neutral, with the headlines not offering any opinion on the quality of the trailer but rather simply describing its release.
Top articles about the Rings of Power ad
coverage of the super bowl
Engagement to the Super Bowl really began to ramp up at the beginning of February, when we finally knew that it would be the Cincinnati Bengals playing the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
Looking at the level of coverage in that time, there were more than 140k articles written about the sporting event — an average of more than 10,000 per day.
It was on the public interest side, though, that the numbers were truly impressive. Coverage of the big game in the two weeks leading up to the event generated more than 19 million engagements or almost 1.5 million per day.
Unsurprisingly, both of these spiked in the week before the game, and the day of the game itself, there were 30,000 articles written about the Super Bowl, and engagements to those articles and those written the next day topped 10 million.
Public interest in the Super Bowl
Media interest in the Super Bowl
The half time show
On the day of the game the halftime show was the dominant narrative, and we used NewsWhip’s Timeline feature to examine exactly when this engagement happened.
From the graph, it is obvious that while articles were being written about the halftime show even before the game, nobody was really interested in them, with the hundreds of articles written getting almost no engagement.
However, as soon as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige, 50 Cent, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar had taken the stage, there was an explosion in interest from both the media and the public, with thousands of articles published and hundreds of thousands of engagements per hour, which continued well into the night as people around the world reacted to the coverage.
In total, during the 24-hour period from just before the game up until the same time the next day, there were more than 8,000 articles written and almost 6 million engagements to those articles about the halftime show alone.
Public interest in the halftime show
Media interest in the halftime show
Discover more insights in the full report
Dive deeper into the data in our full report PDF