Social Is Another Channel Entirely

Old Milwaukee rolled out a new TV commercial starring comedian Will Ferrell during the Super Bowl. You probably didn’t see it though, as it only ran in one place–the country’s second-smallest TV market, North Platte, Neb.

According to BusinessWeek, despite its tiny TV audience, the Old Milwaukee ad managed to outperform some of the nationally broadcast Super Bowl commercials in an increasingly important metric of Super Bowl advertising bragging rights: chatter on social-media networks.

On Sunday night, a user named Daddymcc uploaded a low-quality copy of the Ferrell commercial onto YouTube, which was subsequently linked to by Old Milwaukee’s official Facebook page. At this time, the video has been viewed 564,154 times.

What this says to me is that TV may be the source material that social media users spread, but the choice to spread one item over another is not determined by quality storytelling or production. Online, quirkiness is awarded. Hence, the popularity of cat photos and videos.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.