Social Networking, 2014, 3, 142-145
Published Online February 2014 (
More than Just a Game : The Power of Social Media on
Super Bowl XLVI
Fernanda Bruno dos Santos, Jonice Oliveira
Graduate School in Computing Science (PPGI), Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Received 24 December 2013; revised 28 January 2014; accepted 24 February 2014
Copyright © 2014 Fernanda Bruno dos Santos, Jonice Oliveira. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Com-
mons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work
is properly cited. In accordance of the Creative Commons Attribution License all Copyrights © 2014 are reserved for SCIRP and the
owner of the intellectual property Fernanda Bruno dos Santos, Jonice Oliveira. All Copyright © 2014 are guarded by law and by
SCIRP as a guardian.
The evolution of social media in the recent years promoted the appearance of a new category: social media based
on check-in. It enables the user to define their identity through information sharing. This paper aims to show the
evolution of the se media highlighting the effects and changes they cause in society through Super Bowl XLVI
scenario, besides indicating the important role they have for the companies and marketing.
Social Media; Data Mining; Marketing; Social Networks; Gamification
1. Introduction
Marketing is something that involves connecting clients
with services and products. Applications based on social
media develop the role of conne c tors between people and
habits as they define communities based on what their
users have in common from the info rma ti on they share
[1]. Due to the evolution in how consumers think, accus-
tome d to the interactivity of the virtual world, the way of
how advertisers planned their campaigns also demanded
change in order to continue maintaining public interest.
Companies soon realized the p ower that sharing pos-
sessed in order to build a kind user persona and began to
make use of social medi a applications and check-in to
release their new products and promote their brand.
As a way to engage users to share information such as
location and habits, companies invested on gamification
[2]. Through t he m, companies develop concepts to re-
ward their customers with a c tivities such as earning
badges and virtual stickers, even without rea l value, are
fun and create a sense of recognitio n within the applica-
tion. This kind of interaction creates loyalty to the brand
and which is very important to companies since they can
work toward retaining and attracting new customers.
This paper aims to show the factors that imply the use
of these applications by users and the impacts they have
on the way society lives and thinks. The football event
Super Bowl XLVI is used as backdrop, crossing data
provided by two check-in applications: Foursquare and
GetGlue. Twitter and YouTube are also used in order to
analyze volume of disc ussion. Using these data, informa-
tion was obtained in ord er to capture audience through
the ga me and understand where viewers were and what
was discussed during the event. This type of knowledg e
is invaluable for strategic planning and marketing in-
vestment in advertising, highlighting the importance that
these tools have on social me di a scenario.
2. Literature Review
Social Media is a type of online media that allow users
around the world to connect, share experiences and con-
tent instantly through the Internet. It is the resu lt of the
socialization process based on information represented in
recent years by the extension of dialogue and how the
information came to be organized through the w eb.
The term social media describes online technologies
and practices that people use to share opinions, expe-
riences and perspectives, and can manifest itself in dif-
ferent fo rma ts including text, images, audio and video [3].
The expansion of these med ia has mad e it easier to find
friends, share ideas and opinions and information, i.e., a
democratization of content where everyone participates
in building a virtual community.
With the growing popularity of these platforms, com-
panies soon realized that a good way of advertising is
using social medi a as a way to connect people and their
products. There was a transformation of acting as con-
su mers and consequently how companies build their
marketing strategies [4].
So me works, such as [5], show that it is possible to in-
fer behavior of users throug h data exposed on social
networks and that includes, for example, consumer habits
and interests in general. This information enables the
ability to identify different groups of people and create
advertising strategies for different types of consumers
heating the dispute between companies and brands.
According to [6], market power is extremely difficult
to measure and the traditional models of competition
have man y limitations, s uch as limited flexibility due to
factors such as organizational restructuring, introduction
of new products in the market and even the appearance
of new forms of work organization, such as virtual teams.
In order to meas ur e the degree of influence of a brand or
product opinion and market polls are conducted. The first
aims to accurately detect trends and positions of the var-
ious social segments while the second focuses on disco-
vering market opportunities. Allied, they help companies
to generate knowledge about the place they should take
in their business.
On these matters, [7] show that traditional methods of
survey are slow and costly, since they depend on people
via phone or letter or in person to answer questions. It
also raises issues su ch as anonymity. As for the cost,
much of it is due to time collecting data that is usually
done over the phone or on the streets, requiring an inter-
mediary between question and interviewee. Moreover,
there is the problem of reliability in the data since the sur-
vey does not only depend on the number of people inter-
viewed, but the scientific represen tativeness of the sampl e.
Therefore, social media characterize a good source of
consumer reviews regarding products and brands. They
provide information about people allowing profiling of
age, geographic location, by product type, for example.
Or even look up from the point of view of a marketing
campaign if there was a good or bad response from con-
su mers to that product. Therefore, taking advantage of
the idea of [8] which states that the great advantage of
the internet is its power to prov ide immediate access to
information, it would be possible to obtain data quickly
and objectively, facilitating the analysis to be performed.
3. Case of Study
The Super Bowl is one of the most important sport
events around the world, garnering mor e than 111 mil-
lion viewers on the United States, the host country event,
and becoming the most watched television program in
the history of the country in 2012 [9]. Because of all this
visibility, it also has great marketing appeal since its
commercials are shown during the game with a very
large number of people watching compared to the pr ime
time audience [9]. When Super Bowl is on air a 30
second commercial costs in average 3 million dollars [9]
and it is known for launching new products, so capturing
data from the audience reaction creates a valuable tool to
the companies to measure metrics as return on invest-
ment and user engagement.
One way to analyze the impact of an event can be held
through analysis of social media data, since they allow
users to share experiences instantaneously via the Inter-
net. In order to plan the analysis, th is study used Super
Bowl XLVI as a backdrop and captured data from social
media like Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare and GetGlue
which were able to show where these viewers were, what
they were thinking and what they did during the event.
Using all these kind of information, it was possible to
analyze the degree of attention th at companies and their
products attracted during the event.
Data from social med ia where obtained through a
crawler using the API provided by the mentioned media,
enabling the obtaining, among others, comments and
number of views. According to data from Twitter were
written more than 15 million tweets during the ga me
compared to the 3 million in 2011 [12] showing growth
of the platform. These tweets were originated from 46
different countries, showing the extent of the event. With
regard to commercials, it was observed that 75% compa-
nies that exhibited advertisements mad e use of social
media as a way to extend the brand concept and discus-
sions on the internet. Important tools to imp ro ve the idea
are based on the use of hash tags, fan pages on Facebook
and links to the video on YouTube.
In order to verify whether these strate gies have brought
so me response from the public, the final number of men-
tions of the brand during the event was verified, as well
as the growth on the number of followers on their Twitter
pages andLike”s on Facebook. Table 1 shows the
growth of some of the followers companies that launched
advertisements during the Super Bowl, as well as tweets
mentioning the brand. Through these data, it is possible
to note that advertisements generated some kind of pub-
lic interest, since people start to receive in their Twitter
accounts updates about products and information that the
company think its relevant to users and custumers. The
fact that the companies are able to attract consumer’s
attention is of great importance since they are responsible
for spreading the brand related information through en-
dorsements and retweets from his followers.
Table 1. Data from twitter.
oitneMns worGth
Bridgestone 687 3.852 23.789 %461
E*Trade 4.437 11.006 43.783 %148
ispeP 5.968 7.148 14.494 %20
sotiroD 2.761 3.217 47.223 %17
Volkswagen 10.992 12.348 32.689 %12
As regards to social medi a based on check in, Fours-
quare that has 10 million users, ma de available for those
who performed check in at bars and restaurants during
Super Bowl a badge called “Super Swarm Sunday”. Ac-
cording to the [11], 350,000 people earned the badge
performing check ins at 2.500 different places in 117
different countries. 3000 of them performed check ins on
the stadium where Super Bowl was held, which had the
capacity of 68,000 seats. Therefore, it can be concluded
in relation to the this group of users that the event, seen
as typically American, attracted considerable attention
from foreign people showing how American culture has
spread around the world.
GetGlue, according to the [12], who owned about 1
million users, registered 160,000 check ins during the
event. The high number of check-ins can be explained by
the existence of exclusive virtual stickers for the event,
one for each stage of Super Bowl, which when collected,
could be sent to the user by snai l mail in physical copies.
23,000 comme nts generated by the check ins had men-
tions of brands that were advertising, representing 15%
the check ins made. Beside s stickers, companies launched
contests through GetGlue encouraging discussion about
their products and number of check ins.
The advertisements that aired during the event were
provided by advertisers on YouTub e . The strategy was
used by brands to launch extended versions of the com-
mercials during the Super Bowl, encouraging viewers to
broaden their experience accessing social media. When
comparing the total views of the mos t viewed video on
YouTube at the time, which had 457 million views
(YouTube Charts, 2012) and the videos aired on Super
Bowl it is possible to infer that in just 3 days on average,
18 million views, representing 3% of the video most
viewed. Taking into account that the video took 21
months to get to this pos ition, Super Bowl commercials,
with the average of 6 million page views per day, they
would take only 2 ,5 months to reach this level.
All these data demonstrate how companies can use so-
cial media to obtain advantages in ter ms of marketing,
maximizing discussions about their products and brands,
not only restricting the television media. As presented
her e, users have proved to be receptive to new ways of
marketing, and attracted to new and creative strategies of
advertising. They were also involved by the atmosphere
created around events and increasingly willing to shar e
their opinions, preferences and even their habits and rou-
tines with applications they trust.
4. Conclusion
In order to mak e marketing and social medi a applications
to express its full potential is still important to invest on
game mechanics, so as reinvent products and services are
produced, consumed and how consumers interact with it.
To mak e it possible, it is necessary that these applica-
tions can be smarter, connecting people to move simple r
and delivering valuable content and contextualize d the m.
Besides that, it is important to improve the ability to at-
tract more users. In order to achieve that, these applica-
tions need to be mo re intuitive and capable of offer even
richer and essential experiences for its users. From the
point view of business, they have to reach opportunities
to increase the number of consumers. However, to get
there, they need to educate them about the pros of using
these applications and cr eating and disseminating new
We would like to thank CNPq, CAPES, and FAPERJ for
their support, specially by the support provided by the
projectsINCT para Contro le do Câncer (CNPq 573806/
2008-0 e FAPERJ E26/170.026/2008) andProjeto Uni-
versal: CLOTO: Composição, Mineração, Análise e Pre-
dição de RedesSociaisUtilizando Dados Liga dosAbertos
e Contextualizados(CNPq 487239/2012-1), by the grants
“JovemCientista do Nosso Estado” (Young Researcher
of Rio de Janeiro, FAPERJ: E_23/2013) and “Produtivi-
dadeemPesquisa-Nível 2” (Productivity in Research-Lev-
el 2, CNPq: 308219/2010-4).
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