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The Real Story of Super Bowl LIII Was That A Grass Roots Meme Stole The Show From A “Boring” Game and Millions of $$$ of “Boring Ads”; We Have The Data

It’s official, one of the top 5 emotions expressed online about the game was boredom, not just for the game, but for the ads too. Only a SpongeBob meme saved the day… sort of.

This year’s Super Bowl sparked over 5.5 million social media posts, and by using a data science technique known as ‘conversational analysis’, we can see that ‘boredom’ was officially a top emotion felt by the viewers.

“73% of emotions were positive. The top emotions were: Success, Desire, Happiness, Boredom, Love. These conversations were held mostly (68%) by males.” — Mitchell Grunin @ Networked Insights / audience.ai


When we dive into the data, boredom was the predominant sentiment felt in 495,000 social posts on Sunday, relating largely to the low-scoring game and the two teams that were playing. In previous years the game is only one factor in the Super Bowl experience though, with the half time show and the commercials playing a big role in the general mood. However, even though brands managed to trigger 470,000 posts of their own this year, the data shows the audience was let down on that one too.


This year, the commercials just didn’t have the same sort of impact that they usually do. Sure, each year there are winners and losers, and everyone has their own feelings about what was good and what was bad, but this year, well, it was much more of a damp squib feeling across the board.


In search of some positive news, Budweiser’s “Bud Knight” ad campaign came to a dramatic finish and brought in elements from the hit show “Game of Thrones”, triggering a decent response from the audience.


And Disney got a huge boost in publicity after the Patriots Victory, when Tom Brady and Julian Edelman proclaimed, “We’re going to Disney World!” (they were actually seen at Disney world today.)


But, it was a unique campaign run by Redditors and social media users that was shining light.


On November 28th, 2018, Stephen Hillenburg, creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, passed away. This prompted a petition to play “Sweet Victory” (a song played by the titular character during the ‘Bubble Bowl’) during the half-time show. This petition rapidly circulated across the internet and eventually got over 1.2 million signatures.


During Maroon 5’s half-time show, a scene from the SpongeBob episode came on screen — and the “Sweet Victory” song began to play — only for it to be cut off by the introduction of Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode.”


It could be argued that the movement had its moment of success and that any nod to their request during the most expensive airtime ever was a success, but the data reveals that the internet was not happy.

“On Twitter alone, there were 380K posts (38% highly negative) calling out the NFL for teasing and ultimately deceiving its fans.” — Mitchell Grunin @ Networked Insights / audience.ai

 

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