Super Bowl XLVIII: Who won the battle of the brands?

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

Heinz got creative on social media at half time at the Super Bowl with this cheeky tweet
Heinz got creative on social media at half time at the Super Bowl with this cheeky tweet

Related tags Super bowl

UPDATED: As the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos squared up at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday, the nation’s biggest food and beverage firms battled for supremacy during the commercial breaks. We know who won the game, but who won the battle of the brands?

Of course it depends how you define success. If it's about getting people talking (well, exchanging insults) on Twitter, the prize should probably go to Coca-Cola for its America is Beautiful​ ad (sung in seven languages). 

If it's about votes, Bud won hands down with its ad combining two cute furry animals - a horse AND a puppy.

According to USA TODAY's Ad Meter​, which polled 6,272 pre-registered panelists from across the country -  Puppy Love​ (Budweiser) pulled in the most votes, followed by Doritos with its Cowboy Kid ad, another Bud ad (Hero's Welcome), the other Doritos ad (Time Machine), and Radio Shack's Phone Call.

Coke, Pepsi and General Mills were also in the top 10, while Dannon Oikos polled slightly ahead of rival Chobani (Click here​ for the full Ad Meter results at USA TODAY).

Creative use of Twitter from Heinz, Yoplait, DiGiorno

However, there was also some pretty creative stuff going on at Twitter, with my personal favorite being Heinz's cheeky half time tweet, 'Time to play ketchup' (see above) poking fun at the Broncos, who were by this time already trailing badly.

Chobani was also engaging with fans during the game on Twitter,  sending out a tweet during Bruno Mars' half time show telling fans that 'We love our ingredients, just the way they are', echoing the lyrics of one of his biggest hits.

Yoplait-superbowl tweet

Meanwhile, rival Yoplait, which did not run a superbowl ad - unlike Dannon Oikos and Chobani - was nevertheless having fun on Twitter during the game ( #TasteOff,Game on! Blueberry Yoplait Greek or the leading Chobani?​) reminding fans that in a recent taste test, its blueberry Greek yogurt proved more popular than Chobani's product.

DiGiorno was also on good form, noting in one cheeky tweet that 'THIS GAME IS LIKE A DIGIORNO PIZZA BECAUSE IT WAS DONE AFTER TWENTY MINUTES​'.

According to Twitter, many of the CPG advertisers who ran commercials during the Super Bowl also utilized promoted [paid for] tweets to extend the life of their commercials and maximize their TV investment.

The move follows Nielsen research showing that when paid Twitter media runs concurrently with TV ads, advertisers get far more bang for their buck, said a Twitter spokesperson, who added: "TV ads placed in highly social shows are also 7% more effective than TV ads placed in programs that drive less conversation on Twitter."

Brad Keown, Director of Sales in Twitter's Chicago office, who manages many of of its CPG accounts, added: "TV is great medium of influence with its sight, sound and motion. And Twitter is a force multiplier for TV. When you use TV and Twitter together, the end result isn’t simply additive, it’s multiplicative. When Twitter media is used with TV, we have found with media mix modeling the return on ad spend increased 8-16%."

Super Bowl pizza

Just in case you didn't see all the ads, we've collected the main food and beverage ones below.

Which was your favorite?

Nestlé: Time for something different?

Nestlé, a Super Bowl virgin, used its 30 seconds in the limelight to promote its new Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups - which are going head-to-head with America’s #1 chocolate confectionery brand Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…

Chobani : Bear necessities…

Another first-timer was Greek yogurt king Chobani, which used its inaugural Super Bowl ad to home in on its ‘natural’ credentials. Its 60-second ad takes “a humorous look at what happens when Mother Nature, represented by a discerning bear that comes out of hibernation and is unleashed in a local supermarket…” ​ 

Dannon Oikos: Getting steamy

Not to be outdone was rival Dannon, which drafted in John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier – the cast of Full House - for its 2014 offering. At first sexy - then, well, less so …


Heinz Ketchup: If you’re happy and you know it…

For the first time in 16 years, Heinz returned to the Super Bowl with an ad that “highlights the undeniable link between Heinz Tomato Ketchup and happiness in a fun and familiar way​…” Well - you be the judge…

SodaStream: Oh yeah, she done it (etc)

Fox banned Scarlett Johannson’s sexy SodaStream ad as it called out competitors by name, so the firm air an edited version for broadcast yesterday. However, the "uncensored" version below is much more fun...

Pepsi: What else would you drink at halftime?

“Football isn't football without halftime and halftime isn't halftime without Pepsi…”​ So there you have it…


Coke: Chasing the dream?

Coke ran two Super Bowl spots, but it's  60-second ad - 'Going All the Way' - was the most popular, according to Ad Meter. Despite the racy title, it's a wholesome tale of an underdog high school football player who overcomes the odds to score a touchdown…

General Mills: Time for breakfast (and, er babies)

Talking of wholesome, “When families eat breakfast together, amazing things can happen​,” says General Mills, which brought back the family from its ‘Just Checking’ ad for its 30-seconds at the Big Game… It was Adweek's second favorite ad​ after Puppy Love by Budweiser.


Super Bowl game in honor of Stephen Colbert’s Wonderful Pistachios commercial

If last year’s tie-up with Psy​ (Gangnam Style) impressed fans, this year’s two-part effort from Wonderful Pistachios upped the ante with Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert… Check out part one  below:

M&Ms: Is it the end of for old Yeller?

M&Ms first released a teaser - in true Super Bowl tradition - in the 'found footage' style for its Super Bowl offering. The full ad, which aired yesterday, is below:

Doritos: Crash the Super Bowl!

Last but not least, five finalists were chosen for the Doritos ‘Crash the Super Bowl’ contest. You can check out the five options here​, but there were only two winners: Cowboy Kid (see below) and Time Machine (click here​) ...

Time Machine - created by Arizona-based freelance wedding photographer Ryan Andersen - won the fan vote at​ to edge out Cowboy Kid creator Amber Gill. Both have won the opportunity to work on the set of Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

It didn't win, but my personal favorite is still ‘Finger cleaner':

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