Measure the Sales Impact of Super Bowl Linked Social Media Campaigns

By Ira Haimowitz


With the Super Bowl just over a week away, many of us are thinking about the television ads, which are expensive, fascinating, and usually remembered by audiences for years. Ad Age tracks Super Bowl ads well before the game and also notes that some companies have already released pre-game ads to create the buzz. And, some CPG marketers are choosing to broadcast consumer generated ads.


However, the most effective Super Bowl ad campaigns are not just on television. They include a comprehensive digital plan with engaging social media posts, tweets, website landing pages and viral videos. Before and during the game, dedicated Twitter feeds, hashtags and related YouTube videos showcase the brand, providing specific messaging  and special offers, so that the message can spread and sustain itself virally.

But what’s the sales impact of these social media efforts around the big game? At IRI, we analyze this lift. For the Super Bowl in New Orleans two years ago, a leading CPG snack company pushed out a series of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube campaigns both before and during the game. The brand’s TV ad generated a 63.7% household rating on game day and a 77% household rating for L+3, including DVR effects within three days, according to Rentrak Exact Commercial Ratings. Based on TracX, a leading social media measurement tool, there were 350,000 total posts, likes and tweets for this brand in the three weeks before, during and after the big game. This was more than double the baseline of the previous eight weeks.

IRI combined these and other media figures with our own sales data and client media spend to develop a short-term media mix analysis. The results showed an estimated 7% sales lift the week after the Super Bowl, over and above the incremental sales trends from pricing and TV alone.

The lesson? Always include a coordinated, incremental social campaign with your TV ad spending to further your sales lift. Then, talk to us about how to best measure this for your brands.

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