Another Super Bowl and another list of meaningless Twitter hashtags on the ads. Look at these hashtags to see if you have any idea what brands they belong to: #gethappy #braverywins #nodrama #yourbigidea #wishgranted.

Some hashtags made more sense: #cookiethis #clydesdales and #calvinklein. According to hashtags.org, the more specific hashtags fared better with tens of thousands in use. While the vague hashtags, like #nodrama, got around 350 tweets. What is the conversion rate from the total amount of viewers (over 100 million) to 350 tweets?

Stats like this lead me to the theory that Super Bowl ad hashtags are not meant to be used. I mean if they are, great, but if they aren’t, who cares. It’s more important for hashtags to be on the ad so the agency and brand look like they are in the social TV game. In advertising, perception may be more than half the battle.

If the main goal for the ad hashtag is not use, it takes on a new meaning as part of the branding rather than a throw to your smartphone. They act as a sub tagline stamped with a pop-culture punctuation. In this context, I quite like them.

Here’s why hashtags on ads are not widely used by viewers — ads are conceptual and hashtags are very specific. From what I gather, ads raise awareness, invoke emotions and create desire. Then, the endframe subtly attaches this feeling to a brand. If this job is done well, the conversation will flow. Yes, it’s not all neatly tagged for marketers to track but that is ok. Twitter keyword searches work too.

Social media is chaotic. It’s fragmented, lightening-fast and uncontrollable. Better to watch and listen so that you can contribute great real-time content (for example, the Oreo “dunk in the dark,” image). This was a good reaction rather than a prescribed path, and that is social.

The Super Bowl always features plenty of innovative commercials, but this year one in particular stood out to us.  Bud Light’s “Rescue Dog” featured the same rescue dog that was featured in The Shelter Pet Project’s ad “People Park.”

Not only is this partnership beneficial to help raise awareness for pet adoption, but Bud Light will pledge $1 to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek, CA for every new like on the Bud Light Facebook page.

Speaking of shelter pets, HelpGood recently concluded our work for The Shelter Pet Project social media outreach efforts with outstanding results!

  • 3 Million impressions, featuring coverage by the general population as well as top ad industry and pet blogging websites such as Adweek and Petfinder
  • 90+ posts by bloggers such as moms, animal lovers, and Latina groups
  • 200+ Tweets, Facebook, and Google posts

It was ultimately an extremely successful campaign and we were happy to raise so much awareness for the cause.  HelpGood focused on social media and blogger outreach and utilized in-house developed social listening tools to help track campaign analytics.  With this campaign and the recent Bud Light commercial, we hope the number of animals being adopted from shelters hits an all time high!

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