Superbowl Hijacking… Winners and Losers on Twitter

As a dedicated social media manager, I was one of the 80 gazillion people glued to the TV on February 2nd, watching Superbowl 48 and the absolute decimation of the Denver Broncos (doesn’t that make me sound like a football fan???) Unfortunately, I don’t care a lick for football, but I suffered through the Canadian commercials and a game I barely understand to man the social accounts for one of our social media management clients. At least my counterparts in the US got to see the “real” commercials for their efforts.

While I watched the game, and flipped through the US commercials online, I was also following the #SB48 discussions on Twitter, through a real-time stream in my Hootsuite dashboard–this is one of the reasons I love Hootsuite. Every once in a while, a brand tweet would break the monotony of the Broncos hate or the Seahawks gloating. Unfortunately, not all of the hashtag hijacking was relevant, or well done.

The Good


To all my male readers, don’t get too excited… I can’t imagine another need in the future to include Victoria’s Secret models in my blog. I thought this was a great response to the VW “Wings” ad, which I also thought was one of the better ads; it made me giggle at least, with rainbows coming out of their butt crack at the end. VS and Superbowl don’t have much in common, so it’s understandable they weren’t one of the big advertisers. I thought this was a smart, light-hearted way to enter the conversation.


If you were selling team-branded merchandise, you really had no better chance to sell it than on Superbowl Sunday. This tweet from an unknown-to-me jeweler caught my attention. They used the hashtag and it was a relevant giveaway… win-win!


I thought this Allstate campaign was really a clever way to get involved.


Hilary Clinton, for the win. One of two “tweets of the night”, in my humble opinion. Clearly people agreed with her witty remark about FOX, since it has garnered over 55,000 retweets! Again, Hilary & football are not two subjects you would think of together, but she hit this one right on the nose. And she clearly outdid comedian Rob Fee:


I think this was the funniest tweet of the night, which is good considering he’s a comedian! He didn’t garner as many retweets as Hilary, but he didn’t tag it with #SB48 either, so missed out on a huge opportunity for much more attention. I only found this one because someone in my stream shared it and called it the “tweet of the night.”

The Bad (well, really, they’re just the not-so-good-as-above)


This tweet from Telus just felt a little too contrived. Not nearly as great at their monkey jacket response last year.


The #tweetingwithmittens stunt was kind of fun, I thought. The first two typo-riddled tweets raised a lot of eyeballs and the explanatory tweet took too long as a response to the questions. I think it was a clever attempt, but not well though out, since, as one responder points out you can’t use a touch screen with mittens on. Ooops.

The Ugly

Then there were the tweets that were just wrong, inappropriate or ill-timed. True hashtag hijacking is when someone tried to take over the #SB48 conversation for their own agenda, like the McDonalds fiasco a while back. I can’t imagine a hijack of #SB48 gaining that much ground, but there were a few strange attempts to join the conversation.


I’m a big Ian Somerhalder fan, but this tweet is just weird. It’s sponsored for Ford and uses their #nearlydouble hashtag. I dunno… I just don’t get this one.


Relevant? Well, ok… they waited to find out what Bruno Mars would sing and then crafted their tweet, presumably, but like the Telus one, this one just seemed too contrived. The age of their audience would be what… 8? 10 if you stretch it? I’m pretty sure their audience isn’t too big on Twitter, let alone watching the Superbowl (I wonder how many 8 year old girls did watch?) And those of you thinking it was aimed at the parents of the 8 year olds… umm… do you really think Superbowl Sunday is the best time to reach out to dad?


Maybe it’s because I’ve never watched a single episode of 24, but I’m pretty sure 24 fans were not sitting through the least competitive Superbowl in history to see a promo for the show. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

The Missed Opportunity


Oh how I wish Land O Lakes had seen this and run with it. Slow clap for TVTag. Face palm for Land O Lakes who tweeted on Saturday Feb 1 about “game day” and didn’t participate during the game, or find this tweet on Monday, either. Another example of why you should be monitoring Twitter for mentions of your company and brands!

Did you see any other great attempts by brands trying to get into the Superbowl conversation? Did you try to get your company involved? Did it work or bomb? Which of these tweets do you think worked? Let me know in the comments.

Comment (1)

  • Living on Social Media so YOU Don't Have to! Reply

    […] sat through the Superbowl, just in case there was some way to engage the fans of a client, while the clients spent their Sunday evening with family; […]

    April 1, 2014 at 7:19 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.