Beyoncé wins the Super Bowl; Pepsi wins Tumblr
By now you are no stranger to the epic tales of Super Bowl XLVII advertising, but there’s one avenue you probably haven’t considered: what went down on Tumblr. Over one million Tumblr users posted nearly 1.5 million Super Bowl related posts yesterday. What were they talking about?
A lot of yesterday’s online chatter centered around the Pepsi Halftime Show star Beyoncé, and Tumblr was no exception; Pepsi was smart to snag her as their spokeswoman and to promote her heavily before the show. Indeed, many people online were calling it the BeyoncéBowl or cracking jokes about how it just happened to be a Beyoncé concert that involved football before and after.
(This is from a post on Pepsi’s own Tumblr.)
Pepsi definitely nailed the social aspect of social media promotion: nearly everything was crowdsourced. The entries on their Tumblr were from various fashion and style bloggers, of different backgrounds and focuses, all calling for entries into their Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show Contest, which showcased photographs of entrants in various poses and kicked off the halftime show featuring Beyoncé (you can see the finished product here). To further increase contest entries, they tapped popular YouTuber Tyler Oakley to encourage his fans to enter. As a thank you they sent him to the Super Bowl. This turned out to be a good choice, as it boosted the conversation about Pepsi and the Super Bowl on Tumblr, where Oakley cross-posts his videos and maintains a strong following.
Two of the top ten Pepsi posts were from Oakley, talking about his surprise trip to the Super Bowl from Pepsi. Combined these two posts generated 2.4k notes, a respectable chunk of the 41.7k generated overall about Pepsi over the past few weeks, considering other top posts strayed from the Pepsi Super Bowl topic at hand and discussed older The Wanted and One Direction Pepsi ads (that’s still buzz about Pepsi on Tumblr, however, at the same time they’re in the spotlight for the Super Bowl; Tumblr is a place to celebrate old favorites along with the new, as we discussed around The Golden Globes). The most popular Pepsi post was a poster promoting Beyoncé at the halftime show, and it earned just under 2k notes, further boosting Oakley’s contribution and Pepsi’s smarts in asking him to contribute.
Overall, nearly 40k Tumblr users published over 6.2k individual posts about Pepsi in the past month, and this was all in addition to conversation happening on the official Pepsi Tumblr.
Beyoncé also dominated the more general Super Bowl conversation on Tumblr:
Pepsi posts vs. Super Bowl posts
When we looked at all Super Bowl posts on Tumblr, it became even clearer just how popular she was. Posts about Beyoncé generated more than 1.2 million notes on Tumblr, making #beyonce the most popular Super Bowl tag on Tumblr.
Even in the general conversation about the Super Bowl, Pepsi clearly walked away as the brand winner on Tumblr; no other brand mention or association even made the top ten posts or most popular tags in the Super Bowl conversation. Rival beverage company Coca-Cola also has a Tumblr on which they featured their Super Bowl campaign to have viewers choose who out of three teams- showgirls, cowboys or badlanders- would win Coke after a race through the desert. So why weren’t they a bigger part of the conversation? I don’t think the answer is “hire Beyoncé and sponsor the halftime show” but perhaps it lies in the difference between the interactive nature of the two campaigns: Coke just asked people to vote, Pepsi asked people to participate, and asked those further plugged into the social scene than they are to help them. But Beyoncé didn’t hurt.
“Dodge” did make the list of top tags, but on second glance it’s actually a tag in a post where a dancing gif of Beyoncé dodges footballs during halftime show “rehearsals” (the gif is actually from her Single Ladies music video) and isn’t in reference to the Dodge Ram Super Bowl commercial about farmers.
The wealth of conversation happening on Tumblr about brands continues. Pepsi has figured it out, and used the Super Bowl to nail it and keep people talking about them past the 24-hour news cycle. We’ll see who else follows suit in the future. In the meantime, Pepsi will keep seeing participation in the Tumblr tags, and across the dashboards of more than 90 million blogs.