Four Winning Social Media Campaigns from #SB50


From the halftime show to the underdog Broncos ousting the seemingly unbeatable Panthers, Super Bowl 50 was one for the books. As usual, advertising around the biggest spectacle of the year was in top form.

Here are four of the top social media campaigns brands launched in an effort to market to millennials this past Super Bowl.

  1. Budweiser Apology Cakes

best social media marketing to millennials

Photo Source: Budweiser

It’s the morning after the Big Game, and you’ve got a headache that would make John Cena want to crawl back into bed and binge watch ‘Friends’ all day. You think back to the day before and remember the cheering, the celebrations, your team securing that championship, and (forehead slap) littering your designated driver’s car with the evidence of a late night fast food run.

Thankfully, Budweiser thought ahead and has you covered. In addition to Budweiser recruiting Helen Mirren to address the issue of drunk driving during the Super Bowl, they also kept designated drivers in mind by promoting “Apology Cakes” on Imgur that could be sent to DDs the day after the Big Game.

With sincere apologies ranging from, “Thanks for driving me home after I Superbowl’d too hard,” to, “Sorry about that thing with the chicken wings,” Budweiser nailed it on the head with a millennial-targeted social media campaign. The cakes not only allowed friends to interact and thank one another in a humorous way, but also raised important awareness on the severity of drunk driving.

  1. Esurance $1.5 Million Giveaway

social media marketing super bowl 50

Photo Source: Esurance Youtube

Esurance is all about passing along savings, and they wanted to show Super Bowl viewers exactly how much. Before kickoff, Esurance aired a commercial that informed viewers to keep an eye out for their tweets during commercial breaks and “pass them on” (via a retweet) for a chance to win some cash money. For every retweet of #EsuranceSweepstakes, participants secured yet another chance to pocket some of the $1 million that Esurance wanted to pass along.

By Esurance integrating a wad of cash with a simple and easy way to be enter into their sweepstakes, the #EsuranceSweepstakes campaign not only dominated the conversation on Twitter, but also tallied up the most Twitter mentions during the Super Bowl with a 100 percent favorable tweet rate, according to social intelligence platform, Sysomos.

  1. Doritos’ Crash the Second Screen

great social media campaign super bowl

Photo Source: Julianna Procaccini

Creativity pays – just ask the three Twitter users who were able to generate $50,000 each, using only 140 characters (or less). Marking the last year of Doritos’ long-running “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign, the “Crash the Second Screen” Twitter competition stuck to the same overall concept, but this time, turned to social media to find the most creative Doritos-themed content.

The genius behind this move comes in a few different forms: Leveraging today’s “second-screen” culture, engaging fans in a way that requires the brand to be top-of-mind by asking them to create content surrounding Doritos, and crowdsourcing ideas and content directly from the people who love the brand the most.

Did the promotion pay off? If you ask the three $50,000 winners, definitely. If you ask Doritos, we’d guess their answer would be similar. In the end, the “Crash the Second Screen” competition received 5,500 entries (all of which required more brand engagement than simply retweeting something) and Doritos followed Esurance as a brand with the most Twitter mentions during the Super Bowl.

  1. T.J. Miller and Shock Top’s review of Super Bowl commercials

budweiser social media campaign


One glance at your Facebook feed the day after the Super Bowl, and you’ll soon realize that everyone has suddenly become the world’s most knowledgeable advertisement critic overnight. Thankfully, none of us are alone. T.J. Miller and the Shock Top orange took it upon themselves to review the Super Bowl commercials – including their own – in a hilarious five minute video, so you wouldn’t have to.

During the five minutes, they exchange back and forth opinions about the good, the bad, and the downright weird commercials (Puppymonkeybaby, we’re looking at you), and even have a few words to say about their own commercial. Great job, Shock Top, for showing us that the friendship between a man and an orange wedge is both a real and hilariously ad-libbed work of art.  

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Blue Bear Creative is a Denver social media agency focused on helping food and beverage brands market to millennials.