Super Bowl 2015: As it happened for brands

Marketing Week’s Features Editor Michael Barnett brings you live updates from the world’s biggest ad-extravaganza, the Super Bowl. Opinion and commentary on the night’s biggest campaigns, social stunts and controversies.

03:15 – Brand Bowl winners

So, Marketing Week’s call on the Brand Bowl winner? We’ll opt for Always – the brand brought its A game by lending support to a long-term strategy with its Like A Girl ad, bravely polarising the male-dominated audience with a strong and positive message.

But will any of the brands see a sales uplift from their ads and social activity tonight? If Rocket Fuel’s data is correct (see 23:35, below) it’s far from guaranteed. That’s it from us – goodnight!

02:55 – Social mentions

With the game now over and the Patriots victorious, the Hashtracking analysis tool shows that of the brand-related hashtags used on Twitter during the game, Coca-Cola’s #MakeItHappy, Pepsi-sponsored #HalfTimeShow and Always’ #LikeAGirl have received the most engagement.

#MakeItHappy was seen in by far the greatest number of people, though #LikeAGirl was actively tweeted more often.

02:30 – Microsoft

The Surface tablet from Microsoft has been given frequent product placement on NBC’s TV coverage in the US as part of its partnership with the National Football League, and Microsoft is also sponsoring NBC’s online blog, where all the Super Bowl ads are reposted once they air.

The coverage hasn’t been all positive, however, with one TV shot showing several Surface tablets plugged into a charging dock, leading some to question the battery life and indeed whether the teams are using them as intended. Eagle-eyed viewers also claim to have spotted a rival Apple iPhone plugged in to one of the stations.

01:50 – Always

Procter & Gamble’s feminine hygiene brand Always has taken the simple and effective approach of using an already-great ad for its Super Bowl slot. It’s Like a Girl spot points out that girls’ confidence plummets during puberty, and as far as younger girls are concerned the phrase has no insulting meanings before that.

The brand is supporting the broadcast ad on Twitter with a campaign to change the meaning of ‘like a girl’ to a positive one and predictably, given the male-dominated Super Bowl audience, it has sparked debate on the social network.

01:30 – Pepsi

Pepsi eschewed subtlety for its sponsorship of the half-time show, performed by singer Katy Perry. As well as its logo taking up half the field at the beginning of the interlude, the company also plastered a graphic of a drinks can onto the bottom-right corner of the screen. This was its lead-in to the show.

01:04 – McDonald’s

McDonald’s seems to be lovestruck this evening, with it’s Twitter feed complimenting rival Super Bowl ads, while giving users the chance to win cash prizes for retweeting it. The brand is even showing the love to Weight Watchers.

00:30 – Betfair #BrandBowl odds

Incidentally, British bookmaker Betfair had Budweiser as evens favourite to be the most mentioned brand on Twitter this evening, followed by Pepsi and Budweiser’s brand stable mate Bud Light. Chevrolet wasn’t in its top 30 list of brands – number 30 being The Verge at 50/1 – however #ChevyColorado has been trending on Twitter ever since its ad went out early in the game.

00:10 – Budweiser

All-American (Belgian-owned) beer Budweiser has soothed the nerves of viewers after that Chevy spot with a new variation on its heartwarming story from last year of the puppy whose best friend is a horse. If John Lewis Christmas ads teach us anything, it’s that anthropomorphic animals are a great way to make people go “Ahhhh”.

23:50 – Chevrolet

Speaking of car brands, Chevrolet just gave the US a collective moment of panic by airing this ad, judging by Twitter, with many believing NBC’s TV coverage had cut out. The point? If your TV stops working, you can stream the game from the internet-connected Chevy Colorado.

23:35 – Super Bowl sales data

Not everyone is convinced of the value of Super Bowl advertising. Programmatic ad tech provider Rocket Fuel analysed the sales performance of car brands who advertised in 2014’s game by comparing their online conversion rates against similar brands in the weeks before and after the Super Bowl. According to managing director for Europe Dominic Trigg: We found that there was no direct, immediate uplift in sales that could be attributed to Super Bowl TV advertising.”

23:25 – Adobe

This side of the Atlantic, technology company Adobe is clearly taking advantage of all the marketers staying up late to follow the brand stories, with a satirical spot in Channel 4’s UK coverage asking if brands know what their digital marketing is achieving for them.


Welcome one and all to Marketing Week’s live coverage of the Big Game, as the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots meet up in Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX. Not only is it the biggest event in the American football calendar, it’s also the biggest single night for brands, so we’ll be casting an eye over all the TV ads as well as the social media buzz.

The big brands’ Super Bowl campaigns start weeks before game night, and we have been covering them all in the run-up to the game. Scroll down for some of Marketing Week’s favourites or click here to see them all.


A teaser, set up as a special episode of The Brady Bunch, promotes Snickers return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2011.

It appears that the 30-second spot, which will continue the “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign, will be focused on Marcia Brady, played by action movie star Danny Trejo when she’s hungry.

The brand has promised to release the ad early if the teaser generates two and a half million views on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter likes, comments, shares or retweets.

Newcastle Brown Ale

After already launching an attempt to yet again ambush Super Bowl advertising with a video that spoofed the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” contest, the brand has teamed up with Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza to try and convince other small brands to go in on a Super Bowl ad together.

The “Newcastle Brown Ale’s Band of Brands” asks other companies that can’t afford a Super Bowl ad to “chip in” on creating a spot together. As Plaza says, “Football’s a team sport. Now advertising is too.”


The brand will sponsor the halftime show, which stars Katy Perry, with a 30-second spot leading into the performance in the same style as last year.

Pepsi also held a promotion titled “Hype Your Hometown” which encouraged fans to submit photos and videos showing how they would “Get Hyped For Halftime”. The 25 winners from the same hometown will have a place on the field in front of Perry during the show.


The public will decide which two 30-second Doritos ads will air during the Super Bowl by voting between entries submitted by film-makers from the UK, Australia, Canada and the US as part of the brand’s ninth annual “Crash the Super Bowl” contest.

The main prize also offers $1m (£656,000) as well as the chance to work as a contractor for a year at Universal Pictures in Hollywood.

The UK “angler” spot comes from film director James Bedford.



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