Budweiser crushed the competition in Super Bowl marketing this year, thanks to two ads and an unplanned shout-out from Peyton Manning worth millions of dollars.
More than 80% of the social-media discussion of beer was centered on Budweiser, according to the social-media monitoring company Synthesio. Synthesio tracked more than 2.2 million mentions of the 10 most popular beer brands in the US.
In distant second was Bud Light, at nearly 10% of social-media mentions.
Other brands trailed far behind. Michelob Ultra accounted for only 1% of discussion, even though the brand introduced a new ad during the first quarter of the game.
Budweiser's social-media buzz hit its peak after the Super Bowl came to an end, when Peyton Manning said his plans after the Broncos' 24-10 victory over the Panthers included "drinking a lot of Budweiser."
Bloomberg reported that the shout-out was worth $3.2 million in media exposure — before accounting for the statement’s major impact on social media.
People were quick to assume that Manning had been paid to name-drop the brand. The company clarified, however, that the quarterback endorsed the brand out of his own volition, possibly because he reportedly owns shares in two wholesalers for Budweiser-maker Anheuser-Busch InBev in Louisiana.
Even without the Manning shout-out, Budweiser would have had a strong Super Bowl performance.
The brand's anti-drunken-driving ad starring Helen Mirren has more than 4 million views online, and it landed on Business Insider’s list of the top five Super Bowl ads. It was also the third-most-popular Super Bowl commercial, according to Unruly ad-tracking information.
Budweiser's "Not Backing Down" follow-up to last year's anti-craft-beer commercial didn't garner the same level of outrage as the 2015 ad. Craft brewers once again took to Twitter to discuss the commercial, though, reclaiming the #NotBackingDown hashtag for independent breweries.
The negative tweets aren't likely to bother Budweiser, as Budweiser vice president Brian Perkins told Business Insider that most consumers responded well to last year's ad, despite the outrage on social media.
In other words, Manning wasn't the only person cracking open some celebratory beers Sunday night; Budweiser's marketing team earned some victory brews of its own.