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Facebook has announced it's partnership with US Today to create the Super Bowl Ad Meter app.

Facebook users can rate Super Bowl ads as they watch the game and then share and discuss the commercials with their friends. This will take what US Today have been doing since 1989 with a select panel of viewers and move it into social networks.

But this type of ad tracking in social media isn't a new one. It's been going on over on Twitter since 2009 with Brandbowl.

Brandbowl started as an online Superbowl party to encorage the advertising industry to get on Twitter. A group of ad people from Mullen, Radian6 and a couple of independants launched what was then called Trash Talk from the Twitter Section. They not only aggregated comments on Super Bowl ads but helped and encouraged people to sign up for Twitter. It's hard to remember Twitter was still a fad for most in 2009. A lot can happen in three years.

Now celebrating it's forth anniversary, Brandbowl is supported by Radian6 who provide all of the sentiment data and analytics of the Super bowl ads. For the first time this year, they are showing the strength of their real time data as users compare brands head to head in a statistical showdown.

We had a chance to talk to Edward Bouches, Chief Innovation Officer at Mullen, to find out more about Brandbowl 2012.

Your original Facebook post from 2009 refers to Brandbowl as a way for old media (Super Bowl ads) to meet new media (Twitter) and to get more people using Twitter. Now that Twitter and TV interaction is common place, what is the importance of continuing Brandbowl? Will you start branching out to conversations beyond Twitter?

Brandbowl started as a way to entice the advertising industry to get into Twitter. Three years ago very few ad people were using the platform. It was a huge success.  But now Brandbowl has become an annual event.  It gets bigger every year. More people want to participate. Past participants want to return. Also, for two years, now, we have been hosted by Boston.com, on its website.  This year Billboard is doing a half-time show on the site, tweeting about music and Madonna.  And we've added more and more analytics and user engagement. Plus mobile.  So it's not just about tweeting while watching. It's about engagement.  And finally, the true value of Brandbowl is that we get all the data on viewer preference.  It's the data that matters more than anything. We know what people think, like and dislike before anyone else.  As far as moving beyond Twitter, not yet. It is still the de facto platform for real time commentary.

This year is the first you will show geolocation results. Where are you expecting the most conversation?

The reason for geo (and perhaps, also, gender) is that the platforms and mobile give us the opportunity to look at things that way. We make no real predictions. Obviously the big locations will be Boston, NY, LA, SF, Austin, Chicago. Where there is population and social users and interest in advertising.

What has surprised you most about the Brandbowl experience?

What surprised us most was that a small experiment could grow into a highly anticipated annual event. And that we were able to be so instrumental in getting the industry excited about the platform. And yes, in the first couple of years, Brandbowl helped position the agency as authorities in social media and creatively using the space.  We won a number of clients' social business, or at least got conversations, as a result. It's never the only reason why, but it always helps.

Come Sunday which platform do you think will show the most accurate results? Will you be engaging with Brandbowl over on Twitter or will you be firmly glued to Facebook's Ad Meter. Is Bouches right that Twitter is the best place for real time commentary or will Facebook give it a run for its money?

We'll compare the results on Monday.

Heather Taylor

Published 31 January, 2012 by Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor is the Editorial Director for Econsultancy US. You can follow her on Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

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