Will Ferrell’s Super Bowl ad for Old Milwaukee—seen only in North Platte, Neb., the nation’s smallest TV market—got more than twice the audience on YouTube and Twitter than Budweiser’s “Eternal Optimism” ad, which was broadcast nationally.Boston-based ad agency Mullen crunched the numbers for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, for a period following the big game:
- Mentions on Twitter:
- Ferrell’s Old Milwaukee ad: 1,640
- Cadillac 345 tweets
- Century 21 520
- Lexus 922
- CareerBuilder 1,001
- Hulu 1,191
- YouTube views:
- Ferrell’s Old Milwaukee ad: 760,000
- Budweiser’s Eternal Optimism spot: 320,000 times.
Anheuser-Busch probably paid up to $3.5 million to air its spot, and hundreds of thousands on its production. Pabst Brewing Co. paid nothing for the production of the ads, and only a little more than that to lock up the North Platte market (15,180 households).
Which brings us back to the controversy that is roiling the ad world right now: The fact that more and more clients, like Procter & Gamble, are discovering that social media exposure is virtually free whereas old media is expensive.
Sure, Budweiser’s spot ran in front of 111 million people. But how many did it engage? Not as many as Old Milwaukee.
Here are the two ads. Judge for yourself: