Beyonce, Blackout, Ravens And M&Ms — What We Searched For During Super Bowl 2013

footballWe hear a lot about how TV viewers often multitask with a second device, followed by evidence such as Twitter hashtag activity and Facebook likes. While we absolutely flocked to Twitter in droves yesterday during the game, we also did had search engines at the ready to provide us with those #infiniteanswers Amy Poehler was looking for in that Best Buy commercial.

Most Popular Topic of the Day: Beyonce vs. The Blackout

According to the (sadly now significantly scaled back) Google Trends, the popular topic of of Super Bowl Sunday was Beyonce, with over one million searches.

Google Trends

Yahoo also found Beyonce to be popular, as related searches spiked  7236% (and searches for Destiny’s Child rose 4000%).

But according to Yahoo, the big winner of the day was the blackout, as viewers turned to their devices to ask [why did the lights go out], [superdome power outage] and [what caused power outage].

It may have taken just four minutes for someone to advertise on related terms of Twitter, but did anyone but the terms on Google? In order of popularly, Yahoo found we were most interested in:

  • the blackout
  • Beyonce
  • the commercials
  • kickoff
  • watching online

Google’s blog post  today on Super Bowl search activity found M&Ms as the top trending search and found interest in the blackout was the eighth most popular topic. M&Ms? Really? Some trending searches during the game from Google, over time:

super bowl chart

The Power of Commercials

As always, I’ll be doing more in depth analysis of the commercials (check back for that tomorrow), but which ones caused us to search the most yesterday? According to Google Trends, we were most interested in:

  • Ram trucks (Paul Harvey: God Made a Farmer)
  • GoDaddy
  • Iron Man 3
  • Fast and Furious 6

Yahoo also found that the Ram trucks commercial drove the most interest and found that in addition to what Google listed, we were mostly searching for:

  • Taco Bell
  • Doritos
  • Budweiser
  • Tide
  • Oreo
  • Calvin Klein

As noted earlier, Google found that the most searched for commercial was for M&Ms, although this was apparently on YouTube, which still seems a little… unusual.

Yahoo data also shows the power of a Super Bowl commercial for raising awareness of an unknown brand as searches for Sodastream spiked 5244%.

And although Hyundai sponsored the pregame show and had the most commercials of anyone, according to Yahoo, the most popular car brands during the game (after Ram) were Jeep, Kia, and Mercedes and According to Google they were Mercedes, Lincoln, and Audi.

The Popularity of Celebrities

Every year, I note that advertisers who use celebrities in their commercials should not only think about searches for their brand, but about searches for the celebrities as well. Commercials with celebrities always cause search spikes for those celebrities and often, the brand is nowhere to be found in search results. That trend continued this year, with Yahoo finding the top five most popular celebrities:

  • Kate Upton
  • Kaley Cuoco
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Paul Rudd
  • Seth Rogen

Searches for Oprah (who voiced the Jeep commercial) jumped 7o%.

But What About The Game?

Apparently, a football game was played yesterday and some viewers were interested in that! Google found that the Ravens were searched slightly more often than the 49ers and that the most searched for players were:

  • Colin Kaepernick
  • Joe Flacco
  • Michael Oher
  • David Akers
  • Jacoby Jones

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Features: Analysis | Search & Society | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. She built Google Webmaster Central and went on to found software and consulting company Nine By Blue and create Blueprint Search Analytics< which she later sold. Her book, Marketing in the Age of Google, (updated edition, May 2012) provides a foundation for incorporating search strategy into organizations of all levels. Follow her on Twitter at @vanessafox.

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