On Sunday, February 2, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks took to the field for Super Bowl 48. While most viewers of the game tuned in for the sport, some were purely in it for the commercials and they were not disappointed. While audiences were delighted by the commercials, it was the emerging media antics of brands during and after the game that grabbed headlines and trended worldwide.
The emerging media domination of Super Bowl 48 began with JCPenney. The department store’s Twitter account began to send some rather peculiar tweets early in the game. The tweets had many users asking whether the brand’s Twitter account manager was drinking and tweeting, and an hour later, after the tweets had spread across the web appearing on websites like Buzzfeed, saw a combined 43,000 retweets. An hour later JCPenney responded, with the company tweeting, “Oops…Sorry for the typos. We were #TweetingWithMittens…,” including a photo of someone tweeting with the store’s Go USA mittens.
The next day JCPenney’s spokeswoman commented on the tweets, stating that they were part of a prearranged “social media stunt” that the company’s social media team planned in order to promote the sale of the Go USA mittens. Midway through the game, JCPenney’s tweets resulted in hours of free publicity for the brand.
The second emerging media domination happened after the game when the first post-Super Bowl commercial aired, purchased by Esurance. The commercial with spokesperson John Krasinski, touted that the company was able to save $1.5 million by airing a commercial after the Super Bowl. Krasinski announced that the company decided to pass the savings on by giving one person using the hashtag of #EsuranceSave30 on Twitter the money it had saved. #EsuranceSave30 trended through Monday night, and the company received an estimated 3 million entries by the contest’s deadline. It was through this merging of emerging media and traditional advertising that Esurance’s commercial became one of the most talked about during Super Bowl 48.
By thinking outside the box and utilizing social media, JCPenney and Esurance were able to garner an unprecedented amount of attention for their brands – and become some of the most talked-about advertisements of Super Bowl 48.Kristian Monroe, Graduate Student
Master of Arts in Emerging Media
Loyola University Maryland