Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – EvoApp, a startup who tracked social media to predict the implosion of the Herman Cain presidential campaign, is now analyzing data from across the web to determine what brands are performing best in Super Bowl hype and advertising.

Year in, year out, advertisers pay millions for spots that reach a global TV audience. And many of the ads have become classics. (I always liked that “herding cats” ad, and some of the best ran at the height of the “dot com” boom.)

This year, more than ever, social media is playing a big role as campaigns continue to expand beyond video to interactive.

The Durham-based firm teamed up with advertising agency McKinney for what they call the “Social Bowl 2012.” (Triangle-based iContact is focused on the Super Bowl opponents and has declared the Patriots the winner in social media use. Read here.)

“Until now, Sunday’s battle of the brands has been a buzz and popularity contest,” said Jim Russell, chief innovation officer at McKinney, about the project.

“With our partners at EvoApp, Social Bowl digs deeper to find out which marketers’ game plan delivered the biggest social and business gains well into the off-season.”

Added Joe Davy, chief product officer and co-founder of EvoApp: “EvoApp is uniquely suited for this project, because our technology enables us to measure and understand the sometimes nuanced impacts of social McKinney brings years of both analytical and creative experience that adds a new dimension of value to our empirical analysis.”

The “Scouting Report”

In a blog at a website set up for its Social Bowl tracking, McKinney and EvoApp say they are tracking “34 different data sets” to judge performance.

What is the McKinney-EvoApp team focusing on?

“Consider this our (and your) scouting report,” they say in the blog.


1. “How advanced and nuanced will the calls to action be, given this multiscreen age? …
2. “How do the brands leverage their social strengths? …
3. “Does the prerelease of so many spots pay off? …
4. “Automotive, automotive, automotive. When we did the analysis based on Automotive News’ sales data, one out of every two cars sold in America will be advertised during the Super Bowl! …
5. “And lastly — What did the power of creativity yield? At McKinney, we believe that creativity applied resourcefully yields exceptional results.” …

Interested in learning more and tracking the data?

You can post comments, questions and theories to #SocialBowl.

Plus, you can receive updates through Twitter at @SocialBowl.

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