Twitter’s #BrandBowl Returns to Crown the Brands That Shine Online During the Super Bowl

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Year No. 54 for the Super Bowl also marks year No. 3 for #BrandBowl, Twitter’s way to recognize brands that drive discussion on its platform during the game.

Brands talking about brands is a thing in the modern era, so might as well create some hashtags.

Ryan Oliver, senior director of the social network’s Twitter Next brand strategy team, said one trend he is looking forward to following this year is what he called “advertising-based advertising,” or brands keying in on what other brands are doing with their television spots, and then taking to Twitter to play off that.

“McDonald’s and Volvo in 2015 were the catalysts for this,” he said, pointing to efforts during Super Bowl XLIX by the fast-food chain, which tweeted about other brands’ Super Bowl ads, and the automaker, which encouraged fans to tweet its #VolvoContest hashtag during other car brands’ commercials.

More recently, Frank’s RedHot won the #Interception award during #BrandBowl 53 last year for its strategy of taking its “We put that shit on everything” tagline to heart and doing so on every single ad.

Oliver said Frank’s RedHot will be back at it during Super Bowl LIV on Sunday.

He also pointed to the Hispanic flavor of the event, with the game taking place in Miami and the halftime show starring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. According to Oliver, the National Football League is the most tweeted-about sports league among the U.S. Hispanic audience on the social network.

“We see this as a huge opportunity for brands to tap into this audience and be part of the conversation,” Oliver added. “The Latin community is strong and vibrant on Twitter.”

November’s presidential election in the U.S. is bringing politics into the Super Bowl fray, as President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg will each run 60-second spots.

“I think that will turn into some pretty interesting conversation from both sides,” Oliver said. “It will be interesting to see if brands decide to jump in.”

Last year’s #MVP, which is given to the brand with the highest percentage of all brand-related tweets during the game, was Planters, with its #CrunchTimeGiveaway contest and sharing an extended cut of its ad starring Mr. Peanut, with cameos by Charlie Sheen and Alex Rodriguez. Without the conversation on Twitter, “I don’t know that the spot would have been as memorable last year,” Oliver said.

Planters paused this year’s #RIPeanut Super Bowl campaign following the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant last weekend, but the company still plans to air its Super Bowl ad.

“Brands need to be aware of current events and how they can impact what they’re planning,” Oliver cautioned. “They need to be nimble.”

#BrandBowl 54 includes eight categories: four returning quantitative categories that will be selected based on Twitter data exclusively provided by customer experience management platform Sprinklr, and four new qualitative categories that will be judged by the Twitter Next team.

Pepsi took home the #MVP of Twitter’s first #BrandBowl two years ago.

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