Do Positive or Negative Commercials Get the Best Results?

SuperBowl XLIX Commercial Analysis Using Twitter

Advertisers have plenty of options when it comes to commercials, and if they're willing to spend top dollar on a Super Bowl ad, they want to make sure they've not just resonating with viewers, but also enticing them into a relationship that will lead to a purchase. The question about whether positive or negative commercials are more effective is ongoing. Recall the Nationwide commercial during Super Bowl XLIX? The one where the young boy misses out on all the great life events because he's killed in an accident as a child. While that commercial got a LOT of buzz on Twitter, it definitely didn't win the ad war for the day.

Negative Gets Attention, But Positive Get Results

Conducting a Twitter analysis of the ads that played during Superbowl XLIX was an exercise in analyzing volume of engagement vs. quality of engagement. We set out to understand the relationship between people tweeting about an ad and actually engaging with the company (and, hopefully, buying the product).

We ingested about 9 million of the 28.4 million global tweets that happened during the Super Bowl, and found the most tweeted, most impressions and most average impressions of the companies that aired commercials. This helped us determine the quantity of traffic for the companies. We also wanted to see if those same companies were being engaged. We did this by identifying who was being retweeted, whose business accounts were being followed and whose links were being clicked on. Finally, we conducted a sentiment analysis of the tweets we gathered.

What we found was that Microsoft's ad campaign (technology in the face of opportunity) won the ad competition by finishing in the top tier of all three of our metrics: engagement, action, and sentiment.

Interactive Visualization

You can use this visualization of our data, presented in Tableau, to see the data we collected during the Super Bowl. You will see that based on different metrics, different brands did better.

You can read the full report on The Marketing Tech Blog