News & Views
10/02/17 / news

Musings from Super Bowl 51

Each year, Super Bowl comes around with just as much hype for the ads as there is for the actual game of football! The hype is generally focused on creative, but as advertising technology evolves, marketers are looking much more to use data driven insight to inform and tailor their communications.  From the recent Super Bowl 51, we have summarised those companies who best represent this.

Airbnb // Political data


After the US election last November, public conversation has become increasingly polarised and reactive. This year has already provided the perfect examples of when and how brands should, or should not, participate in political commentary.

Backlash against Budweiser and 84 lumber for their Super Bowl ads demonstrates a lack of insight into the sensitivity of the current political climate in the US and that although brands shouldn’t be afraid of polarising consumers, the delivery of the message is the key to success.

Whilst ads from Airbnb and Expedia followed a similar theme to Budweiser and 84 Lumber, the difference was not only in how they communicated their message, but also in the insight used to determine the brand relevance of the message.

Airbnb have clearly used political data to provide insights into their customer base. By promoting a message of inclusivity and acceptance, rather than one explicitly of immigration, they have not only maintained brand relevance but have successfully become part of the discussion on what is becoming an increasingly controversial topic.

Gatorade // Snapchat

As mobile continues to dominate the social market, advertisers need to adapt the way they communicate in order to keep conversation relevant. That is why we have specifically singled out some of this year’s advertisements on the mobile messaging platform Snapchat.

Snapchat has continued its high growth this year, overtaking Twitter and Pinterest with 58.6 million users. With Gatorade’s success last year having their Super Bowl Snapchat lens generate over 100 million views, this year’s Super Bowl saw increased advertising spend on the app.

The two major players on the app this year were Gatorade, with a similar lens to last year, and Pepsi, who put users into a virtual Jumbo Tron to a soundtrack of Lady Gaga.

The growth of mobile advertising should demonstrate to marketers that to have real impact, digital campaigns are moving away from just creating a hashtag or viral video. Today’s digital success stories are about using key insights to integrate into a consumer’s digital life and create an improved experience.

Intel & Pepsi // Social

With over 5.1 million tweets, this year’s half time show controlled a large portion of social activity. Continuing the theme of becoming part of the experience, two brands have been able to capitalise on the half time hub of social activity by becoming part of the performance.

Pepsi, the main sponsor of the performance, was the most mentioned brand on twitter for this year’s Super Bowl, with Intel coming in at number 10.

By becoming brand sponsors and offering up their technology for use in the show, the two companies have aligned themselves with an extremely positive consumer experience. Through insight into how and when consumers communicate and share on social media, the brands have maximised the success of their efforts and taken credit for the performance.


Tim Rudder, Analyst at Stack I/O, the advertising and marketing technology consultancy designed to support brands through data and technology driven acceleration. For more information, get in touch: