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Brand or Celeb? Social Media Shows Who Super Bowl Ads Helped Most

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Getting a celebrity to shill products during the game’s valuable advertising time can do wonders to imprint a brand in consumer consciousness. But that plan can also backfire, with the celebrities themselves overshadowing the products they promote.

Overall, David Beckham dominated Super Bowl XLVI. More than 85,000 tweets mentioned him over the course of the game, according to Simply Measured. But the Beckham-in-his-undies ad helped clothing retailer H&M, too.

According to Networked Insights, the soccer player gained four times as much of the conversation on Twitter and Facebook as H&M. But his presence still pushed the brand into the eighth slot of most talked about companies on the two social networks during Super Bowl Sunday.

John Stamos also gained four times more of the conversation than the brand he endorsed, Dannon yogurt. But unlike H&M, Dannon wasn’t able to parlay that into a significant share of the online discussion, finishing outside the top 10 according to Networked Insights.

Supermodel Adriana Lima did especially well for herself when she appeared in ads for Kia and Teleflora during the game. Lima gained about 7% of the celebrity ad conversation, according to Networked Insights, and the reaction on Facebook and Twitter was overwhelmingly positive.

But her buzz did not translate into major boosts in sentiment for either of the companies she endorsed. According to NetBase, Kia’s rate of positive mentions increased by just 0.1% on Super Bowl Sunday compared to normal, and there was actually a relative dip of 1.2% in positive mentions for Teleflora.

Interestingly, the three brands that grabbed the largest share of the advertising conversation were Doritos, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser and Bud Light counted as one, according to Networked Insights. None of those companies hired major celebrities, but all did feature animals in one ad or another.

Do you think it’s worth it for brands to shell out big bucks for major celebrities in their Super Bowl ads? Or are there better ways to make a splash? Let us know in the comments.

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