I know, I know. This year’s Super Bowl won’t be held until Sunday, Feb. 2, 2104. But according to new data released today by Unruly Media, 60% of the most shared Super Bowl ads of all time were launched before Super Bowl Sunday. So, don’t be surprised if some of the top brands and their agencies start launching their Super Bowl 2014 video ads even before we know whether the New England Patriots or the Denver Broncos will be playing the San Francisco 49ers or the Seattle Seahawks in the big game.

But wait, there’s more!

According to Unruly’s new data, Super Bowl 2013 video ads attracted almost twice as many shares online as the previous year. The marketing technology company also found the number of video shares has grown 30 times in the last three years. The top 10 most shared ads from Super Bowl 2013 generated a total of 10.2 million shares across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere – an 89% increase from 2012 (5.4 million), and a substantial uplift from the 355,325 shares the top 10 commercials managed in 2010.

Other news nuggets included in Unruly’s infographic, “Super Bowl: 10 Facts Every Brand Should Know”, which appears below, include these stats:

  • The most shares (3.3 million) from Super Bowl 2013 were recorded on Super Bowl Monday (February 4) – twice as many as the next biggest day, February 5 (1.6m shares) and nine times bigger than the number of shares recorded on Super Bowl Sunday;
  • The average length of the top 10 Super Bowl ads more than doubled (112%) from 2010-2013, from 42 seconds to 89 seconds;
  • The average share rate (the % of viewers who also shared the ads) of Super Bowl ads nearly doubled between 2012 and 2013. In 2012, it took 57 views to generate one share, in 2013, it took 31 views;
  • 3 of the top 10 most shared Super Bowl ads of all time are movie trailers – (Fast 5; Fast and Furious 6, and Star Trek Into Darkness);
  • 7 of the top 20 most shared ads from Super Bowl 2013 were supported by teasers;
  • The most shared ad of all time is a Super Bowl ad – VW’s “The Force” (5.2 million shares). The second is Budweiser’s “9/11 Tribute” from 2002, which trends every September, while third is Budweiser 2013 ad, “Brotherhood”.


Super Bowl 2014 infographic FINAL (2)

In a press release, Unruly’s U.S president Richard Kosinski said, “The Super Bowl is no longer just about creating a compelling :30 TV spot that will be the talked about at the office on Monday morning. With more than 500,000 shares of branded video every 24 hours, the Super Bowl offers advertisers a unique opportunity to efficiently extend the reach of their Super Bowl investment and generate excitement leading up to Super Bowl Sunday and beyond.”

He added, “However, a lot of brands need to raise their game if they want to come away with a winner by making content that created a powerful connection with its online audience. Budweiser did just that in 2013. ‘Brotherhood’ really touched a nerve among its audience, who made it the third most shared Super Bowl ad of all time within just five days.”

Unruly has also created a playbook, offering insight and tips on how brands can make their content more contagious – even with just over two weeks to go. You can download Unruly’s Hail Mary Playbook by clicking here.

In the press release, Kosinski said, “Our playbook and stats should be the first stop for any brand looking to make the most of the incredible opportunity the Super Bowl provides. It helps answer questions like when you should launch your ad online, how long you should make your ad, whether you should include a teaser campaign and what kind of content is most likely to be shared online.”

Unruly COO and co-founder Sarah Wood added, “It’s going to be a really exciting year. Super Bowl brands are keeping their cards close to their chest. Last year we saw a lot of advertisers releasing teasers ads to their Big Game spots in the days and weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. This year we are seeing a lot fewer, so expect some big surprises on the day.”