Budweiser completely crushed the competition in Super Bowl marketing this year, thanks to two ads and a unplanned shout out from Peyton Manning worth millions of dollars.
More than 80% of social media discussion of beer was centered on Budweiser, according to social media monitoring company Synthesio. Synthesio tracked more than 2.2 million mentions of the 10 most popular beer brands in the US.
In distant second was Bud Light, at nearly 10% of social media mentions.
Other brands trailed far behind. Michelob Ultra only accounted for 1% of discussion, despite the brand debuting a new ad during the first quarter of the game.
Budweiser’s social media buzz hit its peak after the Super Bowl came to an end, when Peyton Manning said his post-Super Bowl plans included “drinking a lot of Budweiser.”
Bloomberg reported the shout out was worth $3.2 million in media exposure — before accounting for the statement’s major impact on social media.
[hospital, year 2067]
*a frail peyton manning’s lying in bed*
*he mutters something*
*his family leans in close to hear him*
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) February 8, 2016
People were quick to assume that Manning had been paid to namedrop the brand. However, the company clarified that the quarterback endorsed the brand out of his own volition — possibly because he reportedly owns shares in two AB InBev wholesalers in Louisiana.
Hi Internet. For the record, Budweiser did not pay Peyton Manning to mention Budweiser tonight. We were surprised and delighted that he did.
— Lisa Weser (@LisaWeser) February 8, 2016
Even without the Manning shout out, Budweiser would have had a strong Super Bowl performance.
The brand’s anti-drunk driving ad starring Helen Mirren has racked up more than 4 million views online, and landed on Business Insider’s list of top five Super Bowl ads. It was also the third most popular Super Bowl commercial, according to Unruly ad-tracking information.
Budweiser’s “Not Backing Down” follow-up to last year’s anti-craft beer commercial didn’t garner the same level of outrage as the 2015 ad. However, craft brewers once again took to Twitter to discuss the commercial, reclaiming the #NotBackingDown hashtag for independent breweries.
The negative tweets aren’t likely to bother Budweiser, as Budweiser Vice President Brian Perkins told Business Insider that most consumers responded well to last year’s ad, despite the social media outrage.
In other words, Manning wasn’t the only person cracking open some celebratory beers last night — Budweiser’s marketing team earned some victory brews of their own.