Advertisers broke a record this year, spending a total $435 million on in-game spots for Super Bowl LIV and surpassing the $390 million spent in 2017. But to ensure their campaigns live on after the final whistle, marketers extended their big game ads with social media pushes on a variety of platforms, with Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter remaining key tools.
Most notably, this was the first Super Bowl where viral app TikTok played a role — both as a platform used by marketers and as an advertiser in its own right. Perhaps that's not surprising, with how TikTok has quickly disrupted the mobile space.
"TikTok is the most buzzed about social platform right now but it has a reputation that it's only an effective channel for reaching a very young audience. Going big at the Super Bowl signals to the advertising community that TikTok has the potential to reach millennials and older generations who aren't yet using the app," Angela Seits, director of influencer and branded content at PMG, told Marketing Dive in emailed comments.
"What's impressive about TikTok's activation at the Super Bowl is how the platform is diversifying its audience through custom activations," she added. "Whereas Snapchat was initially protective of its position as an inaccessible platform designed for younger people when it first launched, TikTok is coming out of the gate early on to signal that it's an accessible platform that can reach older audiences while still maintaining its cool factor."
TikTok certainly made a splash around the Super Bowl, and opened a new channel for marketers that opted out of spending the record $5.6 million per 30-second spot to hijack social media and insert themselves into game-day conversations. This year, TikTok hashtag challenges joined tried-and-true tactics around livestreams and emoji.
Here is a round-up of the year's best Super Bowl social media plays, whether within big game campaigns or standalone hackvertising efforts, on TikTok and beyond.