Taco Bell and Subway, the two foodservice brands to run national, in-game commercials during Sunday’s broadcast of the Super Bowl, performed well when it was their turn to get in the game, according to research from firms DigitalCoCo and Ace Metrix.
Over the past few years, many restaurants opted to advertise before the National Football League’s championship game — as Papa John’s Pizza, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut did this year — but Taco Bell and Subway paid millions of dollars for the chance to run new 60-second and 30-second ads, respectively, during the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.
According to a study from DigitalCoco, a social media strategy firm focused on the hospitality industry, Taco Bell and Subway kept pace with traditional Super Bowl advertisers in the soda and packaged-food industries. The firm monitored the interactions advertising brands received on their Facebook and Twitter pages during the Super Bowl, categorized them as positive, negative and neutral, and tabulated them into a sentiment score on a 1,000-basis-point scale.
The leading brands for the broadcast were Oreo, M&Ms and Coca-Cola, which garnered scores of 902.3, 892.4 and 759.2, respectively, DigitalCoCo found. But Taco Bell was right behind, with a 722.9 score for its “Viva Young” 60-second spot, and Subway scored 640.9 with its 30-second commercial celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Jared Fogle campaign.
“Restaurant brands actually held on pretty strong against these big food brands, and to me that sets the stage that restaurants are becoming a more mainstream brand component of everyday life,” said Paul Barron, founder of DigitalCoCo. “It speaks to the whole process of why brands should bolster their position and market presence. Rather than think about how to reach more mouths, they should think how they can get their household name out there to compete with brands like Pepsi, Doritos or Oreo, which have significantly greater marketing budgets.”