Super Bowl 2014 searches

Posted by Owen Powis on 6 Feb, 2014
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Wordtracker looked at search trends during the Super Bowl - read what we found out

The Super Bowl has been and gone, and while 111.5 million Americans tuned in, giving the highest viewing figures of any Super Bowl to date, it looks like a fair few of you had your laptops perched on your knees during the game. Here’s the rundown of some of our top Super Bowl search facts…

At Wordtracker we get fresh data daily, direct from our search partners which gives us a pretty unique insight into just who the real Super Bowl winners and losers are. So here’s our countdown of some of the best search insights conducted during Super Bowl XLVIII. All the data that we’re comparing is from the exact time that the Super Bowl was on and the same time last Sunday.

First things first though, we’d better clarify things for the Eli Manning admirers out there searching for “is eli manning married.” We found 8 searches conducted in New York (one of our analyzed locations) alone during the match - I guess the look of his sad face in the fourth quarter probably pushed a lot of sympathy his way. Well don’t you worry, Wikipedia tells us he’s happily married with 2 daughters.

City vs City

We chose to break it down into what we saw as the three key cities for this event: Denver, Seattle, and New York. We also pulled data for Rutherford, but the smaller population means a less meaningful set of data.

Denver:

“Super Bowl” was the 12th most searched term, which is a pretty massive growth in searches compared to 690th with just 13 searches for the same time last week.

Seattle:

Seattle saw a massive jump in Super Bowl related interest, with “Super Bowl” itself being the 8th most searched term and “Seahawks” the 10th. Out of the two teams’ cities this one has to go to Seattle supporters.

New York:

With its enormous and diverse population, New York has got a lot going on all the time, so it’s hard for a single event to make a dent in the usual search behaviour. This makes it even more impressive that “Super Bowl” shoots up to the 10th most searched term, beating everyday favorites “Facebook” and “YouTube”.

It’s pretty clear Seattle are showing the most interest, beating Denver and even New York in terms of volume of searches - Denver and Seattle have very similar population sizes, but they’re both dwarfed by New York’s population - which does indicate that searches per capita for the those two cities are pretty high.

The Halftime show

Searches conducted during halftime show a significant spike in interest for halftime show performers, searches for Bruno Mars gaining a great amount of attention, with 145 searches during the halftime show. As is often the case with celebrity searches, many of them are asking about his height and weight.

The other performers just couldn’t match the Bruno sparkle, with only 66 searches for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers during the show. It’s worth noting that the halftime show actually draws in more viewers than the rest of the Super Bowl with TV audience reaching 115.3 million.

But let’s not forget it’s the ‘Pepsi halftime show’. Although, it seems that Pepsi may be looking for more ‘brand’ than ‘direct’ engagement. Well, let’s hope so anyway when we compare the searches:

It’s worth the thought, what do the brands that engage in the notoriously expensive Super Bowl advertising actually get back?

Brand Engagement

Pepsi are one of the most recognizable sponsors, and their searches are up during the event, which is no great surprise. However, there were more searches in (comparatively) tiny Rutherford, where the Metlife stadium is situated, than in Denver and Seattle combined.

Fox were the real winners here, with heightened searches across the three chosen cities, with 644 searches for related terms such as “Fox Sports” compared to just 230 in the same period last week. The majority of these searches appeared in the preamble and first half of the game, and tailed off towards the end, suggesting that searchers were looking for where to watch the game online - which over half a million people ended up doing.

Of the big brands advertising, there wasn’t an outstanding uplift in branded searches for them. What you do see though, is the residual effects, such as 80’s related searches up by 233% compared to last week - this is most likely linked to Radioshacks 80’s themed commercial.

Similarly, searches related to Oikos, one of the big winners in the advertising stakes with their ‘bear’ commercial, such as “Greek Yogurt” are also on the up.

One thing we also notice in search is the questions people ask - and perhaps the most pertinent question we found from New York in the first half - delivered in capital letters - was “WHY ARE THE BRONCOS LOSING”. Looking at the post-match news reports, it seems even the Broncos themselves aren’t really sure what happened there.

How did we get the data for this post?

With this Super Bowl search term example, we’ve only focused on a small amount of data from our daily updated database - just over 55,000 searches of the 300 million in the database. We’ve taken some half-hour segments from these relatively small geographical areas, but it’s possible to segment down to the minute with a custom report.

With over 300,000,000 searches, reports from the Wordtracker database can be specified and customized to suit a variety of studies and search term analyses, showing you whether (and how) your business has progressed and truly impacted your audience. If you would like us to put together a customer report for you, drop us a line or check our reports page for more details, and you’ll be able to see whether your business is making the impression you feel it should - and get insight into how you can make more of an impression.

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