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Monday, February 7, 2011

Offensive or not Groupon won the Super Bowl ad game on Twitter

Just in case you haven't been paying attention, yesterday was national "Let's Willingly Watch TV Commercials" day. Some people also call it Super Bowl Sunday. More than 100 million people tuned in yesterday to watch the annual handegg championship match, guffaw at TV commercials and tweet about the experience.

So, the big question then is who won? No, not the Packers, silly. We're talking about ads and their impact online. Who got the most mentions on Twitter? TweetReach, a Tweet-tracking media analytics tool, kept track and says that some of the usual brands were lacking, while others made a big splash.

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TweetReach wrote about its tracking of Super Bowl ads on its blog today:

We tracked Twitter mentions of the 30+ major Super Bowl advertisers, measuring tweet volume and overall impressions generated for these brands during the game. [...] We ranked the top-performing advertisers by overall tweet volume generated during the Super Bowl. Some of these brands ran one ad (Chrysler), while others ran multiple ads (Doritos).

It then lists the top 10 brands, with the caveat that "due to high tweet volumes about these ads during the Super Bowl, Twitter at times imposed some collection rate limits," noting that counts may actually account for just 70% to 90% of all possible tweets. "The numbers [below] can be interpreted directionally, just know that they are slightly lower than the true number of tweets for each brand." With that said, here are the top 10 brands, according to their presence on Twitter:

  1. Doritos - 56,000+ tweets

  2. Chrysler - 39,000+ tweets

  3. Pepsi - 32,000+ tweets

  4. (tie)Best Buy - 26,000+ tweets

    (tie). Volkswagen - 26,000+ tweets

  5. Anheuser-Busch - 25,000+ tweets

  6. Groupon - 22,000+ tweets

  7. - 19,000+ tweets

  8. Chevrolet - 18,000+ tweets

  9. Audi - 14,000+ tweets

What's interesting about this list? Well, Groupon made it big, if you go by the mantra "any press is good press." It aired three commercials during the event yesterday, with at least one consideredquite offensive, not only by ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick, but many others on Twitter. Take a look at a word cloud created using Wordle that looks at tweets about Groupon during the Super Bowl.

groupon-superbown-ad-tweet-cloud.jpgBesides "Tibet", it looks like Groupon took a big hit on Twitter yesterday, with "bad", "offensive", "fail" and "kenneth" all standing out. "Kenneth" is a reference to the Kenneth Cole tweet from last week that tried to leverage the Twitter conversation on protests in Egypt. Many thought the tweet was in poor taste and the company soon apologized and removed the tweet.

Now, Groupon is getting a similar response to its Super Bowl ads, but it sure did get people talking about the company. GoDaddy followed closely behind Groupon with its yearly display of moderately offensive, misogynistic advertising. In terms of mentions on Twitter, the new Motorola Xoom tabletand the PlayStation phone didn't even breach the top 10. If the numbers are right, then it surely seems that Groupon and GoDaddy have found the way to get mentioned on Twitter.

What do you think - is it worth it? Is any press good press? It seems that at least two tech companies think the answer is a resounding yes, and if their Twitter mentions are any indication, then they are correct. But is the Groupon brand irreparably damaged in your mind or will this just be a blip on its path to global, coupon-clipping domination? After all, this, right here, is yet another mention of Groupon in the press.

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