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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Nossaman

The Real Winner of the Super Bowl is TikTok


Photo credit: Photos (from left) by @khaby.lame, @keleighteller and @meghantrainor on TikTok


It cost a whopping $7 million this year for a mere 30-second TV ad during the Super Bowl. With that steep price, smart, savvy brands turned to TikTok to post ad content, maximize exposure and engage directly with Super Bowl fans.


TikTok has partnered with the NFL for the last three years to host the TikTok Tailgate, a virtual pregame event exclusively live-streamed on TikTok. The tailgate featured artists like Jason Derulo and was hosted by Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Isaac Rochell and his wife Allison Kuch. This year, TikTok positioned itself as the “second screen” for the Super Bowl and provided a prime opportunity for brands to tell their stories.


According to TikTok's 2022 US Sports Fandom & Events Insights survey, nearly 60% of TikTok users watch sports content on the social media platform every week. Capitalizing on the platform’s sports audience relies on smart strategy and mastering the app’s unique algorithm. Here are three brands we think had the most memorable audience plays on TikTok:


1. State Farm

WHAT: Super Bowl LVII was played at the State Farm Stadium in Arizona, giving the company a built-in opportunity to increase brand awareness. While some companies would stop at naming rights, the insurance company chose to expand its campaign by adopting a social media-first strategy.


THE PLAY: To do this, State Farm partnered with creator Khaby Lame to create a series of videos centered around the State Farm Stadium. Jake from State Farm teased the partnership, building up excitement and driving more views to his page.


Following on the heels of Jake’s initial video, Khaby posted to his page introducing the #StateFarmStadium Challenge. The challenge encouraged user engagement by asking fans to predict how many times “State Farm Stadium” would be mentioned during the game and comment their guesses. The increased engagement from user comments boosted the video in TikTok’s algorithm, causing it to be shown to more users.



The company also posted content on Jake’s account, cross-promoting the #StateFarmStadium challenge. By using both pages, State Farm maximized its partnership with Khaby and built a relationship with a new audience.


FINAL SCORE: In total, the State Farm campaign received 305.8 million views on posted content across the two accounts. The campaign also received 318 million views on all videos posted under #StateFarmStadiumChallenge.


2. Pringles

WHAT: Unlike State Farm, Pringles secured a 30-second slot for its commercial, which played on the puzzle of what to do when you get your hand stuck in a Pringles can. On top of the on-air commercial, Pringles took to TikTok to bring a social media aspect to their storytelling. The social media campaign hinged on two major keys to using TikTok: a recognizable influencer and a viral trend from the app.


THE PLAY: In October, Meghan Trainor’s song Made You Look sparked a viral dance trend. The song was used in over 4 million videos, with stars like Nicole Scherzinger, Penn Badgley and Meghan herself taking part in the trend.


Pringles capitalized on Meghan’s popularity on the app by using her, her song and the accompanying dance trend in its Super Bowl commercial. The brand launched its #StuckinPringles campaign, which further expanded on the concept in the on-air commercial. Meghan kicked things off with a video of her doing the Made You Look dance trend with a Pringles can in one hand.


Through a partnership with Meghan, Pringles adapted a narrative previously built into their brand for TikTok. By using a recognizable face, song and trend, Pringles brought this familiar brand narrative to TikTok and merged it with something already popular on the app.


FINAL SCORE: The campaign received nine million views on posted content on Meghan Trainor and Pringles' accounts. There were 66.5 million views on videos posted under #StuckInPringles and the campaign’s version of Made You Look was used in 2.2 thousand videos, indicating high user engagement and content creation.


3. Bud Light

WHAT: While Bud Light did not launch the full-scale social media strategies that Pringles and State Farm did, the brand is still an example of leveraging TikTok to maximize the content from Super Bowl commercials, although maybe not as effectively.


THE PLAY: Bud Light opted for a more traditional slot during the game. Their 30-second ad featured Miles and Keleigh Teller. Keleigh posted the ad on her personal account, sharing it with her 675.6 thousand followers. Admittedly, Keleigh does not have the following that Khaby Lame and Meghan Trainor have, but the ad still received 2.2 million views.


When brands are on both TV and TikTok, users report that ads feel more relevant to them and have a more positive perception of the ad content, according to the 2021 TikTok Marketing Science US Cross-Platform Study. Bud Light tapped into this by having Keleigh post the ad, allowing it to reach a greater audience with a positive reception.


FINAL SCORE: The Bud Light campaign received four million views on the two videos posted by Keleigh Teller focused on the ad. The lower views this campaign received illustrate the advantage of applying a more advanced TikTok storytelling strategy. However, the Super Bowl ad demonstrated the simplest way to generate content on the platform: repurposing already-existing content and using influencers to give it an extra bump.


AND THE WINNER IS…


Even though it didn’t generate as many views as State Farm’s content, Pringles delivered a winning strategy of integrating its narrative with a viral song and then promoting it through both TV and TikTok in an effective one-two punch. Well done, Pringles!








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