Super Bowl Ads: Extended Edition

They came. They saw. They conquered. The Super Bowl is over, the almighty Patriots have won, the inner Jets fan in me is extremely sad, and advertising agencies can start thinking of commercial ideas for next year.

Three parts of that sentence have been true five times in the Tom Brady era while the last part is increasingly becoming a blatant lie with each Super Bowl. The days of advertisers dedicating all of their time on 30 second Super Bowl commercials are well behind us. This fact is as undeniable as the Patriots offense was in the 4th Quarter of last night’s game.

According to a 2016 poll from HuffPost/YouGov, 26% of Americans watch the Super Bowl solely for the commercials while 35% watch it for the game. I’d be interested in knowing how many of those commercial lovers have social media accounts because the conversation surrounding plenty of ads was continued on social media platforms, especially on Twitter.

#SNICKERSLive : “You ruin live Super Bowl commercials when you’re hungry”

One of the Super Bowl commercials that stood out to me last night was Adam Driver’s faux live commercial that seemingly went incredibly wrong. The actors aren’t ready, the entire set begins to come crashing down, and Adam Driver is cut off while asking to probably try that again. In 2002, Brady’s first Super Bowl win, this commercial would’ve stopped right there. In 2017, this commercial’s tragic tale was continued on Twitter.

Directly after the airing of the Super Bowl, Snickers tweeted out an apology for their commercial going awry.

This morning, the company tweeted out a video of a frustrated Adam Driver personally apologizing for the failed live ad and storming off when even that doesn’t go as planned.

In my opinion, extending the commercial into the Twitter-sphere enhanced the overall cleverness. In an article on Adweek, it’s actually noted that some people had no idea that the original mishap of the live commercial was on purpose and apparently the gag got extended even further beyond Twitter as the company is offering buy one get, get one free for their candy bars.

#StrangerThings : “Let go my Eggo”

Another brand that capitalized on a commercial using social media was Eggo Waffles, and unlike with Snickers, it wasn’t even their commercial. The wonderful frozen waffle made a comeback over the Summer in the hit Netflix show Stranger Things and what started out as a vintage Eggo commercial ended up being a teaser trailer for the new season of Stranger Things. According to Adweek, there was an existing partnership between Eggo’s and Netflix for the commercial and Eggo’s was able to grab a decent amount of the spotlight with their social media presence after the commercial’s airing.

I think the Eggo social media team made a great use of the post Super Bowl Twitter platform, as well as the clear internet obsession with Stranger Things. When I saw the Adweek article, I immediately started scrolling through Eggo’s previous tweets and they’ve been taking advantage of the Stranger Things craze for a long time. The Eggo team has posted Stranger Things tweets during the Golden Globes, tweeted out Stranger Things halloween costumes, and even occasionally posts gifs and memes of Eleven and her coveted frozen waffles. As we’ve discussed in class with regards to the #DunkInTheDark Super Bowl tweet, the cross between social media and television is constantly growing and the Eggo marketing team has been doing a great job of adapting to the in the moment marketing scheme.

#TMobileOne : “The safe word is unlimited”

In what turned out to be one of the strangest, yet well thought out, commercials of Super Bowl 2017, T-Mobile spoofed Fifty Shades of Grey with actress Kristen Shaal getting “punished” for going over her data by streaming too many TV shows. T-Mobile clearly spent big this year to roll out #TMobileOne with four 30 second ads throughout the game, two of them revolving around Shaal’s sexual tones of hidden fees. The T-Mobile Shaal commercials garnered over 5K mentions on social media platforms throughout the night but one of the things that really makes their presence stand out was Shaal’s interactions with Verizon on Twitter last night.

Shaal tweeted out five times during the game using the same spoof sexual undertones present in the ads. The commercials itself are being regarded as some of the best in this year’s Super Bowl and I’d say the social media usage after they aired makes the ads even better. Last class we talked about the negatives of trolling and while Shaal is definitely trolling Verizon, it isn’t in a harmful way. The use of trolling as a social media tactic is a familiar trick when it comes to T-Mobile, especially with their CEO being John Legere. Legere himself is regarded as the biggest Twitter troll out of technology companies and Verizon is a favorite target of his trolling. A few weeks ago he apparently promoted a Verizon earnings call on the T-Mobile website with a creative drinking game. Check out the link here. Legere, seemingly a troll of massive proportions, also bid over $20000 in an auction to choose a tattoo for Olympian Nick Symmond’s and (jokingly?) tweeted that the winning design was “F^@% AT&T”.



As we’re all aware, social media has become a huge part of our lives and that was evident throughout Super Bowl LI. During halftime Fox even did a segment to check in on what was trending across social media platforms. Whether it be a 50 inch tv or a 5 inch iPhone, social media played a huge role in last night’s Super Bowl. It didn’t matter if it was before the game (#BoycottBudweiser), during the game ( 





  1. It seemed crazy to me that these companies paid Fox $5.5m for a 30 second commercial. But what was extremely fun was the rivalry of Verizon and T-mobile in these ads. Especially the commercial with Schaal, which received so much social media attention. Well said, and I really enjoyed the images.

  2. Nice post. Superbowl is always a time when interesting things happen in social media, since its such a big stage. Good to see that this year was no different. It’s interesting to see how agencies are beginning to think about SM as a natural part of their programming.

  3. jordanpanza29 · ·

    Your post was very interesting to me especially about the partnership between Eggo and Netflix. When I was watching the Super Bowl I did initially think it was an Eggo commercial. I did not know about their partnership. It is funny to think that if Netflix had paired up with a different food for the show how Eggo would not have made this comeback. As for the TMobile commercial, I agree with you. At first I was very confused and had no clue what I was seeing but by the end I was thinking how clever it was.

  4. Great way to point out how super bowl commercials continue past their TV airing. It almost doesn’t make sense to me why a company would drop millions on a commercial without trying to tie it into social media and continue the conversation. The commercials you listed were so elaborately planned and that’s what helped everything seamlessly connect from platform to platform. I wonder if this same strategy would work with commercials on normal days. I would guess no, just because not everyone is watching at the same time. I would be interested to see if this cross-media connection has been used for shows like the Bachelor or Pretty Little Liars when people live-tweet the show anyways.

  5. Really good summary of the top commercials in the Super Bowl. It is evident how these ads no longer stay only on TV, but also become part of the social media world. Companies have to be more careful than ever about what they show on their ad. Many people watch the game simply to comment and criticize on the ads. While some ads might bring positive advertisement for the company, others might also bring a negative investment on the large investment.

  6. lesleyzhou · ·

    Great analysis of the few ads you selected from the Super Bowl. To be honest, I thought the Snickers commercial was actually live and was left quite confused at the end of it. As for Eggo, I didn’t even know they were capitalizing their mention in Stranger Things, but I think that’s a great move on their part because it seems to be an old childhood brand that’s seemingly fading away. By utilizing social media and playing off current trends, they are able to pivot faster in the market to make themselves more relevant to the current generation.

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