For the chart below, Ad Age worked with ListenFirst, a New York social-analytics and strategy shop, to examine the growth, from kick-off through Tuesday, in Facebook likes, Twitter followers, Instagram followers and YouTube subscribers for the big brands that ran national Super Bowl ads. Scroll down for notes and context.
• ListenFirst tracked both absolute and relative growth, but also kept track of each brand's average social community growth throughout January to serve as a baseline. ListenFirst's Social Audience Impact Score, shown in the bar charts above, represents how brands grew their social followings relative to their usual, pre-Super Bowl growth rate, as benchmarked in January.
• With "Puppy Love" in Super Bowl XLVIII and "Lost Dog" on Sunday, Budweiser made a splash two years in a row with its dog-and-Clydesdales show. And while this year Bud did gain more new YouTube subscribers than any other advertiser, the brand scored 52% fewer subscribers than it did during the same period last year.
• Victoria's Secret is our overall winner, racking up more than 92,000 new fans following their spot. Unsurprisingly, the majority of these new fans came from Instagram (57%).
• "While the hype around Super Bowl spots traditionally revolves around the conversation in the moment or the morning after, we believe the brands that pick up the most new social followers are the true winners in the long-term," says ListenFirst Co-Founder/Co-CEO Jason Klein. "By gaining new followers, brands can continue the conversations with them well beyond the final whistle. As nice as it would be to be able to sell a car or an insurance policy in thirty seconds, the reality is that the path to conversion takes longer than that. Social communities afford brands more time to address potential new customers directly."