A Night at the TwitterBowl: Successful but Unwieldy

Update: The project wasn’t as unwieldy as first thought, super analyst Josh Bernoff did the heavy lifting and has analyzed the results.

Well that was an amazing game, I’m sure my many colleagues at Forrester (Cambridge, near Boston) are throwing fits, but you’ve got to hand it to all the players that was seriously a great game.

A recap and you can view all responses
The social media experiment went very well, there are over 2500 responses to the superbowlads account. I spent over an hour hand copying all the replies on that account to this spreadsheet of all the responses. This is a read only spreadsheet where you can do a search (let it load, it takes time) and see how people are talking about the different brands and the ads.

The twitter application held up ok, although many of the replies did not show up on the replies page in real time, you could use the search tools to quickly see what folks were saying.

Massive Volume
It was pretty amazing, every time I refreshed the search tools (terraminds or twittersearch), new responses would appear in rapid order. There were so many responses coming in, (about 625 per hour, or 10 every minute) it was really hard to keep track. I tried to summarize key findings (such as many folks liking X commercial or hating Y commercial), but it became difficult to track.

Track your brand, or commercial
If you work for a company (or you have a client) that advertised on the superbowl, you should be doing searches using the twitter search tools, and add “superbowlads + brandname” to find out what people thought in real time. For example, I know the Dell blogger team is keen to knowing what we all thought, you can check this query of superbowlads + dell to see what folks rated it, it probally wasn’t as positive as they would have hoped.

For Example, I’ve scored the Dell advertisement

  1. I found all the responses using a query
  2. I tallied the responses on a spreadsheet: 27 of them
  3. I added them all up for a total of 70
  4. Divided them
  5. Dell Ads received an average of 2.59 as the average response
  6. The savvy advertiser will read all the responses and try to underhand why it scored that way

You could even query by user name and see how they rated content, Josh Bernoff was very consistent in his ratings, you can see all his scores.

Please analyze
I hope some smart advertising, interactive, or measurement company exports the data and does some formal analysis. I’m tapped out now, and hope someone else takes the lead

New tools needed
Next year, I hope there’s a real time polling toll that we can use, that will auto create data and reports, so I don’t have to do it manually. If anyone has a better solution for future, please let me know. In any case, it was clearly a success, as we were all chatting, laughing, and critiquing the experience in real time –location not being a factor.

The web is now a live opt-in focus group.

Who’s talking about the impacts of Twitterbowl:

I’ll update this over time, leave a comment if you see others talking about it

  • Essential keystrokes participated, but felt the ads were overall very weak this year.
  • ShinyRed Recaps the impacts of the game, and twiterbowl on society.
  • Some say this was a landmark media experiment
  • Chris Heuer interviewed me on why I did this experiment:

    40 Replies to “A Night at the TwitterBowl: Successful but Unwieldy”

    1. This is something I shared with folks on my communications team. Even if where not in the advertising group, how can we participate in activities like this, especially when there’s Intel inside. My brief blog with resources in the comments section http://kenekaplan.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/twitter-vote-for-favorite-super-bowl-tv-ads/.

      Thanks, Jeremiah! This was super cool, even for the family members around me who wondered what they heck I was doin’ and then allowed me to shared their reactions.

    2. Jeremiah that was so fun! The way that new techs are coming down the pike-I am sure there will be all kinds of solutions; probably ones that will be so amazing you will wonder how you ever pulled of this experiment without them. Can’t wait till next year!

    3. Quick analysis on what makes a succesful superbowl ad

      1 They appeal to the masses

      2 Many appeal to existing media or themes such as 80s music, common movies, or animals

      3 something normal happens in the plot line, then something very unusual happens

      4 lots of fast cut scenes to hold your attention

      5 live action tends to work better than computerized or animation.

    4. Jeremiah~

      You’ve changed Super Bowl parties. We had eight guys from 21 to 40 watching the game and yelling out their ad scores to me. Instead of standing in the kitchen talking, the women migrated to the living room to join in.

      I hope the advertisers give us better ads next year.

      Thank you for the party.



    5. Jeremiah,
      This was a great idea. I always enjoy watching the commercials but it was also interesting to see how people thought differently about the ones I liked or didn’t.

      The whole concept really did have a party feel to it, which made it much more exciting. Of course, it would have been better if the Pats had won. Oh well.

    6. With 4 little ones, we opted out of party invites and watched at home this year. Jeremiah’s experiment kept the whole family engaged! I was reading tweets on the ads and the game as they were coming through to my husband and kids. We were arm chair quarterbacks and ad critics with the twitterverse. A social media experience that topped all others to date.

      Fun evening! Congrats, Jeremiah!

    7. Regarding the tools for analysis. I have downloaded the @superbowlads data. I knew while I was participating yesterday that this would be pretty ugly stuff… and it is.

      If the tweets had some basic rules, it would have been much easier to parse the data. Something like:

      GMC,****,Loved this ad for it’s simplicity

    8. What an innovative experiment, Jeremiah! Participating made the whole game more enjoyable for me. Glad to see the Twitter servers hung in there, too.

    9. I really enjoyed this analysis. I was on Twitter the entire time the Superbowl was on. It was incredible to read all the Tweets regarding the commercials, and not only through @superbowlads.

      This further proves the importance of implementing a Twitter effort for major events… It is extremely engaging, interesting and interactive.

    10. A definite success. Data was gathered, there was definitely participation, and Twitter even cooperated by not crashing.

      I was watching the game with my father in law. He has probably never heard of Twitter, and probably doesn’t want to, but every once in a while I’d share one of the comments with him; he seemed to enjoy it.

    11. I really enjoyed, even if I could follow only the 2nd quarter of the match.
      I’m sure next year we’ll have better tools, because I think that could be really useful for advertisers and marketing companies.

      I already asked in a previous post, but I do it again in case you haven’t seen it: don’t you think that Pownce should have been a better tool than twitter, as it has a rating tool – one to five stars exactly?
      With one note per ad you should have had all replies grouped and an average count already done.

      PS. I’m not payed by Kevin Rose, I’m just giving an idea! 😀

    12. Jeremiah,
      Thanks for putting this together. Last year I live-blogged the commercials. This year, I Twitter Bowled. While I definitely enjoyed the interaction Twitter provided, I still can’t get past the idea that a television event might be dead. No one at the party I attended was all that interested in the ads (maybe because the game was so compelling, though) and generally didn’t like any of them. Marketers need to move past these types of media and find other, more relevant ways to interact with their customers. I bet there are many better ways to spend a few million dollars than on an ad that no one watches. Or cares about.

    13. Hey Jeremiah, great post. We also live twittered the Super Bowl ads, you can check out our Twitter Feed here: Twitter.com/Scorecard.

      We also just posted our 4th annual study of how well super bowl advertisers integrated online and offline advertising – we’ll be writing more about this on our blog, but the preliminary findings are already up on our site: Super Bowl XLII Scorecard. Check them out and feel free to share any feedback you have with us.

    14. Thanks for putting this together. I felt like I was taking part in something big and ground breaking. That a middle aged woman from Nebraska can really have a say! I looked at the commercials with new eyes this year knowing that my opinion really could make a difference. I did find that I might have been inconsistent with my stars on some commercials. I tended to go with my first impression and with more thought, I might have changed my mind. Thanks again.

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