If you tune into the Super Bowl mostly for the commercials, you are not alone! In a recent study, nearly 1 in 4 viewers admitted to watching the game specifically for the commercials. At The Motherhood, we are fascinated by the new commercial trends and brand strategies around the event that we see crop up every year. For Super Bowl 50, we were especially interested in Twitter’s new advertising option for brands: a $1 million branded emoji.
Twitter started offering branded emojis back in Fall 2015, so it’s no surprise that the company is continuing this option for some of its highest paying advertisers — especially right in time for the #SB50 social chatter!
The way it works is simple: when users type a certain hashtag into Twitter, it will trigger a custom-made emoji. For example, type #SB50 into a tweet and you’ll see a football emoji appear. In fact, Twitter released several new emojis just in time for Super Bowl tweeting:
Brands partnered with Twitter to release their social emojis prior to the big game in hopes that when their commercial aired live, their hashtag – accompanied by a custom emoji – would stand out in the conversation online. The branded emojis come with a hefty price tag, but with 73 percent of Super Bowl viewers using a second screen to check social channels, the investment may have been well worth it. Here are the four brands that paid big bucks for a new kind of Super Bowl advertising — and the results, according to The Motherhood’s social listening team:
Pepsi, the official sponsor of the Halftime Show, also owned a Promoted Moment during the game’s break. The hashtag that triggered the musical notes and Pepsi can emoji was tweeted more than 431,000 times (including retweets) by more than 235,000 people yesterday. It was a clear winner among the branded emoji hashtags, generating more than 1.2 billion impressions.
Budweiser’s #GiveADamn came in as the second-most-mentioned branded emoji hashtag on Twitter, with 29,000 tweets (including retweets), 25,000 contributors and 85.8 million impressions. The #GiveADamn campaign has a strong anti-drinking and driving message, hence the new emoji with a beer bottle and car keys being dropped. For every tweet with the hashtag, Budweiser is donating $1 toward Safe Ride programs.
Bud Light’s commercial with Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen was a parody of the presidential campaign, encouraging people to support the #BudLightParty. We also noticed Bud Light received several celebrity endorsements on Twitter during the game. The campaign hashtag with the bottle cap emoji (resembling a political badge) was tweeted more than 11,600 times (including retweets) by 9,600 Twitter users, generating 62.3 million impressions.
Coming in with the fewest number of branded-emoji tweets was Verizon’s #Minute50 hashtag. This hashtag triggers a clock emoji with 50 minutes on the clock, symbolic because the company has been giving away prizes (everything from free data to Super Bowl tickets) to Verizon customers every hour on the 50 minute mark since January 24. #Minute50 received fewer than 500 tweets (including retweets) yesterday from 440 Twitter users, resulting in 4.2 million impressions. However, we want to note that because this campaign has been running for two weeks, yesterday’s tweets likely don’t accurately represent the overall reach and effectiveness of this campaign.
What’s next for branded emojis?
We look forward to seeing the other emojis, branded or not, that Twitter will reveal in the future! We’re anticipating many more to come for future events (think summer Olympic Games, the presidential campaign, etc.).
A note on Facebook: Although the Twitter branded emojis (naturally) do not appear on Facebook, use of the above hashtags on that platform was high. Again, #PepsiHalftime was by far the most used of the four. However, we found that the most shared link was to Budweiser’s #GiveADamn ad and also had the highest percentage of female users.