Pepsi, Coke Bowl Buys Pay Off in Online Buzz

Heaviest Spender Generated Most Chatter, but Big Bucks Don't Mean Positive Feedback

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NEW YORK ( -- Who says you can't buy buzz? In the end, the marketer that bought the most ad time ended up reaping the most chatter among the Twitterers, bloggers and online talkers.

PepsiCo's brands accounted for 40% of all online talk.
PepsiCo's brands accounted for 40% of all online talk. Credit: NBC
Pepsi-Cola dominated online conversation during the Super Bowl, according to Collective Intellect, a firm that mines and measures what people are talking about across the web. The soda brand's ads alone accounted for 19% of the share of voice among the top 10 most-talked-about advertisers. And when you add the chatter about PepsiCo sibling brands SoBe (12% share of voice) and Doritos (7% share of voice) to the flagship product's buzz, PepsiCo collectively accounted for 40% of all online talk.

"You can buy buzz, if you are a well-known brand like Pepsi or Budweiser," Tim Lefkowicz, president of Collective Intellect, wrote in an e-mail to Ad Age. "However, the stakes are much higher, as these brands have more to lose if one or more ads don't resonate."

Out of the top 10 advertisers, Coca-Cola came in second for its brands, flagship Coke and Coke Zero, with 12% share of voice, followed by Budweiser with 11%; Audi and Hyundai, each with 9%; Bud Light with 8%; E-Trade with 7% and with 6%.

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Money can't buy positivity
Collective Intellect also found that chatter about a brand is not enough -- it's also important to know what all the buzz says. SoBe and Bud Light were far and away the winners when it came to generating positive sentiment, with 75% of their buzz falling into this category. Of the top 10, those snaring the lowest percentage of positive comments were Coke and Pepsi, with 58% and 59% positive buzz, respectively.

Added Mr. Lefkowicz: "Let's say that money can buy you buzz, but no amount of money can ensure it's the positive kind."

Collective Intellect also looked at the brands that failed to generate buzz for their ads. Among the bottom-dwellers? As of midnight after the game, Pedigree, Castrol and Denny's had generated the least amount of online chatter.

Collective Intellect also looked at several other types of sentiment, including words that are typically associated with brand loyalty and affinity, or intention or desire to buy an advertised product. Audi led this category, with 7.5% of posted items containing such sentiment, followed by Bud with 5.4% and then SoBe with 5%.

It also looked at the conversations that contained words linked to affordability, a category led by SoBe with 1.9% of web mentions containing some sort of economical association, followed by Bud and then Pepsi.

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