Silver: Best Use of Social/Viral Marketing in a Campaign 2015

  • Campaign: Verizon #WhosGonnaWin
  • Brand: Verizon
  • Agency: Wasserman

In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, responses to one question seem to dominate conversations: Who’s going to win? Verizon capitalized on its NFL partnership and Super Bowl XLVIII’s taking place in New York, where the telecommunications company is headquartered, to transform that question into the first social-media-driven light show on the Empire State Building.

Agency Wasserman created a custom Twitter algorithm to analyze every Super Bowl-related tweet to determine which team had the stronger fan support each day of the week prior to the game. Fans were encouraged to support their favorite team with tweets accompanied by the #WhosGonnaWin hashtag. Each night the Twitter sentiment was converted into a light show on the Empire State Building. Featuring the most popular team’s colors and synchronized to music from NFL Films, the light show aired on Clear Channel’s New York stations and was streamed on the NFL’s Super Bowl Travel Guide app and the microsite, the latter of which also displayed live data throughout the day. NFL stars Drew Brees, Curtis Martin, Marshall Faulk, Barry Sanders, and Matt Forte participated in media tours to spread the word, and social media influencers further amplified the message.

In that one week, more than 450,000 tweets—36% of all tweets about the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks, the two teams vying for the Lombardi Trophy—included #WhosGonnaWin. Nearly 233,000 fans visited the dedicated website, generating more than 485,500 page views. Verizon’s Twitter visibility increased a gargantuan 5,634% from two weeks prior, and 99% of all social conversation surrounding the campaign was positive. While the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, Verizon was a winner in the promotional arena.