Who really won the Super Bowl? A consumer search investigation


Every year, roughly 110 million households (46% of Americans) tune into the most iconic football game of the year.

When consumers have questions or are seeking information related to the Super Bowl they turn to Google as it’s one of the most searched for events of the year in the world.

Let’s analyze some of the consumer search data to see this year’s real winners.

In addition to battling on the football field, the Broncos and Panthers battled for search volume too. It was neck and neck throughout until Denver pulled away when the game looked to be out of reach.

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Brands pay big bucks for Super Bowl television spots, so measuring their effectiveness is essential and can be tricky. One way to do so is to look at which ads drove the most search volume (consumer engagement).

Advertiser search interest during Super Bowl

Looking at the top commercials, it looks like the Audi r8 Commander spot drove the most searches. This was followed by Jeep’s Portraits spot. Hyundai’s Ryanville ad was entertaining (who doesn’t love Ryan Reynolds?) but didn’t drive the volume of the other car competitor’s ads. Doritos had two funny ads and you can see in the chart that search volume spiked when they ran, but was considerably less than Audi and Jeep. Heinz came through with the cutest ad by far but barely registered a blip compared to the others.

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Comparing the quarterbacks throughout the season it’s interesting how close it is. As the season goes on and other teams are eliminated, search volume spikes tremendously as the nation’s eyes are focused solely on them.

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Looking at what Super Bowl-related activities had the highest search volume clearly shows halftime has the most interest with ads, teams and recipes not even coming close.

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Who won the halftime show?

Speaking of the halftime show, Chris Martin and Bruno Mars did a great job but nobody upstages Beyoncé and that was evident in the search data. Lady Gaga also had a major spike after her tremendous rendition of the National Anthem.

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Left Shark meme search interest during 2016 Super Bowl

Everybody’s favorite part of last year’s half time show also peaked during the halftime of this year’s Super Bowl. The viral sensation that captured America’s hearts last year was also referenced all over social media…

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left shark tweets

Professional sports search interest year-over-year (US)

America loves football much more so than any other major sport. That is apparent when comparing search volumes of the other United States pro sports championship games. The Super Bowl dwarfs the others – it’s no wonder advertisers pay a premium for television spots. Interestingly though, the US is even more interested in the FIFA World Cup (the years it takes place anyway).

professional sports us searches

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Super Bowl search winners:

  • Lady Gaga
  • Beyoncé
  • Denver Broncos
  • Peyton Manning
  • Audi
  • Jeep
  • Left Shark (Back-to-Back years!)

Super Bowl search losers:

Ben Rotundo is an SEO Manager at DigitasLBi

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