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. – After watching and perhaps participating in all those entertaining (not all were funny) Super Bowl ads, did you change your buying preferences? Did you become a more loyal buyer of Coke or Pepsi or a particular car brand?

Durham-based ad agency McKinney and social media data tracking/analysis firm EvoApp are still crunching millions of pieces of social media data (Tweets, Facebook likes, etc.) to see which brands won what they called the
“Social Bowl.”

And the early analysis indicates that brands who “paid” fans to play through the offering of contests were the big winners.

“It’s too soon to declare a winner in Social Bowl 2012. We’re in it to see who leveraged Super Bowl social buzz to build a solid foundation for continued success,” wrote Glen Fellman, the Group Creative Director at McKinney in a blog posted Tuesday afternoon. “It appears the key to success so far has been banking on a combination of contests and existing brand rivalries to build a social fan base.”

Contests just may be more important to brands than ever believed, Fellman said.

“Contests are used all the time to boost likes/followers, not just during the Super Bowl. But contests are often dismissed as a cheap trick for building a fan base because new adds are more invested in the contest than the brand,” he noted. “But during the Super Bowl, these three brands routinely inject team spirit into their advertising to, we believe, coax the latent loyalists to stand up for their ‘team’ by clicking the like button.”

The winners: Chevrolet, Doritos, KIA Motors and Pepsi. Only Kia didn’t have a contest.

McKinney and EvoApp plan much more analysis of the “Social Bowl” in search of lessons learned to apply to future marketing and advertising. This will be very interesting to follow as advertising, branding and social media converge to change the facing of commercials and campaigns as we have known them.

Read the full blog here.

(P.S.: Personal choice for best ad – the Return of Ferris Bueller, hands down. The worst part of the night? Halftime show.)

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