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Social Media and the Super Bowl


Being that the Super Bowl is the most widely watched sporting event in the world (this year’s edition broke the record again, raking in 114 million viewers), social media platforms tend to erupt during the game. Twitter recorded 28 million Tweets with hashtags relating to the game (leaving many more unmarked ones likely unaccounted for) whilst Facebook claimed that 65 million of their users posted Super Bowl-relevant material.

The largest sources of chatter, as is often the case, were the adverts and the halftime show. Feminine hygiene label Always got a lot of attention for their advertisement, which was affixed to the #LikeAGirl hashtag. The advert was geared towards dispelling the phrase ‘like a girl’ as a way of saying someone is feeble. It depicted a group of people being instructed on camera to imitate a series of actions ‘like a girl’, such as running or fighting. Then they asked a series of young girls to do the same thing an unsurprisingly, they just did the actions normally, with no sense of weakness or inadequacy. The advert has now surpassed 50 million YouTube views and the hastag was still trending on Monday.


Elsewhere on the advertising side of things, mobile game Clash of Clans drew a strong following with their parody of Liam Neeson, starring Liam Neeson and eSurance delighted many by resurrecting Walter White. Bud Light’s giant, real-life Pac-Man maze was also massively popular. On the other side of the equation, Nationwide’s crushingly morbid piece, featuring a child listing all the things he couldn’t do, because he had died, was met with a massive backlash from Twitter and other platforms.


Meanwhile, the half-time show also garnered a massive response. Super Bowl halftime shows are the stuff of legend, some are remembered for sheer excellent (Beyonce) and others for sheer awfulness (The Black Eyed Peas) and some for other, more bizarre reasons. The most recent examples include MIA flipping off 68,000 people (to say nothing of all the people watching it on TV) during Madonna’s performance and even more famously Janet Jackson’s ‘wardrobe malfunction’, but now we have a new addition to that roster: ‘left shark’.

Part-way through Katy Perry’s bizarre performance (other moments involved her astride a giant metallic lion and a somewhat confusing appearance by Lenny Kravitz), Perry danced flanked by two sharks in a cartoonish tropical motif. The shark on the right played his park perfectly well, but for whatever reason (alcohol, a head injury, overwhelming nerves), left shark just couldn't keep time, and flailed around like, well like a shark on land. Twitter blew up about it, Reddit desperately tried to reach the enigmatic fish for an AMA, before he finally revealed himself on Instagram. Allegedly, rather than dancing to a beat that he made up, the dancer was a last-minute replacement and had been instructed to play the routine goofily. This, ironically, means it was the shark on the right who messed everything up, owing to an excess of zeal.


Somewhere in between all that, some buzz about the actual game did manage to emerge. Most of it surrounded the final moments, which had the Seahawks 4 points down, but only yards from the end zone. Head coach Pete Carroll’s decision to pass the ball rather than run it in, and it ended up in the hands of Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler. Seahawks fans were not best pleased, and several legendary ex-players tweeted to express their utter bewilderment at what had just happened. Consequently, the Patriots went on to lift the trophy.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Social Media and the Super Bowl Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 Rating: 5
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