Super Bowl Social Media Trends in 2014

Whether you love the ads, the game, or the party food, Super Bowl Sunday is often one of the most highly anticipated days of the year. Despite our great expectations for what we thought would have been one of the best Super Bowls ever, the game itself didn’t really deliver. But that didn’t stop viewers from tweeting, texting and posting.

In our latest study, we spoke to Super Bowl XLVIII viewers immediately following the game’s conclusion, and what we discovered is that Super Bowl social media usage increased as the blowout game went on. Eighty-five percent of respondents watched the game until the very end, and 44 percent of respondents said their social media activity increased, while 41 percent said their usage remained the same throughout the game. Facebook was the most popular social network used, with 83 percent saying they used it the most during the game, followed by Twitter at 11 percent. Among Facebook and Twitter users, 35 percent used a hashtag during the game.

As a result, viewers used multiple devices beyond just their TVs, with 83 percent using a “second screen” during the game. When it comes to devices they used the most, smartphones and laptops are nearly tied: 30 percent said they used their smartphones the most, while 29 percent preferred their laptops, followed by tablets (14%) and desktop computers (10%).

Second-screen activities varied, with 38 percent using their preferred device to post about a commercial on social media, while the exact same amount (38%) posted about the game. We also discovered that viewers were more likely to visit a brand’s social network site after seeing its ad during the game (22%) than the brand’s website (17%). They were also twice as likely to share a link to an ad via social media than email.

With each 30-second ad spot costing $4 million, viewers waited for commercials with baited breath. Eighty-four percent were excited for the commercials prior to the game, and over half (54%) feel brands should release their commercials online in advance. To that end, about one-third (32%) watched the commercials online before the game, and nearly the same amount (30%) re-watched a commercial after it aired on TV, with 56 percent re-watching the ad online, more than those who used their DVRs (29%).


Ultimately, 40 percent said commercials were their favorite part of the Super Bowl. Seventy-nine percent rated the commercials favorably, with 39 percent saying they were “excellent.”

Our study also uncovered the following key nuggets:

  • The favorite celebrity cameo was the Full House reunion of John Stamos, Bob Saget, and Dave Coulier in the Dannon Oikos commercial (16%). Ellen DeGeneres came in a close second for Beats Music (12%) followed by The Muppets and Terry Crews for Toyota Highlander (11.5%) and Tim Tebow for T-Mobile (11.5%).

  • Thirty-five percent said the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ performance was the highlight of the half-time show, while 32 percent preferred Bruno Mars’ performance of “Just the Way You Are.”
  • Fifty-three percent said commercials shown during Super Bowl XLVIII were more creative than ads shown during the rest of the year, while 43 percent said they were more memorable.
  • Twenty percent downloaded or plan to download U2’s “Invisible,” while 67 percent didn’t plan to download and 13 percent didn’t see the commercial.
  • Sixty-five percent said social media has made the Super Bowl better in the last 10 years.

Even for brands who cannot afford the $4 million spot, social media is a viable avenue to make a splash, as demonstrated by brands like New Castle Brown Ale whose viral campaign captured the attention of millions.


The Lab42 survey was fielded among 500 adults in the United States, ages 18 and up, who watched Super Bowl XLVIII. The survey was conducted upon the conclusion of Super XLVIII, from February 2-3, 2014.


Infographic Best Practices: 3 Ways to Shape Your Story

Have you been mulling infographics for a while, trying to decide if it’s the right ingredient for your business or maybe an upcoming campaign for a client? We’ve created a lot of infographics in our time, and I can speak first-hand to their unique ability to tell a story in a brand new way when they are executed properly.

But let’s face it, infographics are only effective if people are engaged with your material and message. The last thing you want to do is create an infographic containing confusing data, as it often results in a lackluster story that no one wants to read or share. To ensure your infographic gets as many eyeballs on it as possible, make sure your story is succinct and strong before diving into the actual design process with these three infographic best practices:

storytellingTalk it out: With your infographic data points in front of you, explain your story out loud. Pay attention to the order in which you tell it, and consider outlining your infographic in a similar manner. It may help you determine if you are forgetting any relevant data. If you are missing key points, you can always do a little more digging online to see if the data already exists. If it doesn’t, consider executing a survey that reaches your target audience (this way, you get to ask the exact questions you need answered). Talking it out also helps you realize if you’re including too much data. It’s best to remove irrelevant data points before the design process begins, so they aren’t factored in to the general layout of the infographic.

Map it out: Once you’ve determined that you have the right data points on hand to create the best story possible, map out your infographic with a good old-fashioned outline. We’ve found this to be the best way to organize your content before jumping into the design work.  It can be as detailed as you like, and you also may find it helpful to approach it like a key message framework with sub-bullets (data points) supporting your main message. Here’s a basic outline to get you started:

    • Title/header
    • Subheader (optional)
    • Section 1 Header/Key message
    • Section 1 Supporting Data Points
    • Section 2 Header/Key message (may include transition between section 1 and 2)
    • Section 2 Supporting Data Points
    • Section 3 Header/Key message (may include transition between section 2 and 3)
    • Section 3 Supporting Data Points
    • [Continue sections as necessary]
    • Key Takeaway/Call to Action
    • Sources

    If you need more ideas on how to map it out, take a look at other infographics for inspiration.

    Get an outsider’s perspective: Show your outline to a few people unfamiliar with your story and ask them to share what they took away from it. Their perspective will shed light on what content is absolutely necessary and where you are including unnecessary details. Most importantly, this step helps you determine if your infographic stands alone as a document that doesn’t need a lot of outside context to explain it, which is necessary if you’re hoping to use it for press or media coverage. You sometimes have little control over how much context the reporter provides, but you can specify the content within the infographic itself.

    Check out more infographic best practices here, or get in touch with us directly. We’d love to hear from you!

[Report] What Really Matters to Healthcare Consumers

With healthcare coverage going into effect earlier this month under the Affordable Care Act, government officials have released some details about how many Americans have signed up for health insurance and the general age breakdown. But much of the publicly available information on the changing healthcare industry and the Affordable Care Act covers the topics broadly without reaching individual healthcare consumers.

As a market research company, we tapped into the power of our respondent base and connected with real consumers directly to better understand their experiences with the healthcare marketplaces. With health insurance increasingly becoming a consumer’s choice, it’s more important than ever for insurance companies and healthcare marketers to better understand consumers’ preferences and behaviors.

To that end, we conducted our most recent Lab42 survey by reaching 500 healthcare consumers who used the federal or state exchanges to sign up for health insurance in order to gauge their experiences with the exchanges and also identify similarities in how decisions were made among those who chose similar plan packages (i.e. Bronze, Silver, Gold) and health insurance carriers.

Among the findings, we uncovered that Blue Cross Blue Shield experienced the strongest market share with 52% of respondents choosing it as a carrier. Other carriers experienced a larger market share in specific states. Below is a visual of insurance carriers broken down by plan type.

Carrier vs. Plan

When selecting a specific insurance carrier and plan type, the most important factor was “fits my monthly budget” (26%), and the second most cited reason was the level of coverage provided (17%).

The study also revealed that the Silver package was the most popular option selected, with 40 percent of the respondents choosing it as their plan package. Bronze, the least expensive option that is widely available, was chosen by 23 percent of respondents, while the more comprehensive options, Gold and Platinum, were selected by 24 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Despite initial technical difficulties with, 80% of healthcare consumers who signed up online would highly or somewhat recommend using the online signup method. This pattern was also seen in satisfaction with the online option with 71% being very or somewhat satisfied. While complicating the initial rollout, technical glitches haven’t deterred consumers from using the online signup method in the future. Nearly nine in ten (87%) said they are highly or somewhat likely to use the same method again.

The full report is available for download here.


The Lab42 survey was fielded among 500 adults in the United States, ages 18 and up, who used a federal or state health exchange to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The survey was conducted from December 16 – 28, 2013.

Is Pinterest the Key to a Happy Holiday? [Infographic]

It’s almost hard to believe, but December is here, Black Friday has come and gone, and the holiday season is in full swing!

At Lab42, we thought it was the perfect time of year to conduct our own study and infographic on how consumers are preparing for the holidays and decided to hone in on Pinterest to determine how (and why) Pinterest users engage with the prolific pin-board site during the winter holiday months. What we discovered is that nearly every Pinterest user surveyed (94 percent) said Pinterest has changed their preparation for the holidays in some way, and they find the holidays less stressful overall. Specifically, 92 percent said Pinterest makes the holidays less stressful, with 27 percent saying that Pinterest makes the holidays ‘much less stressful’.

The most popular way they’re using the site during the holidays is for new recipe ideas (83 percent), while 74 percent rely on Pinterest for gift ideas. Sixty-four percent find holiday décor ideas, and opt for the DIY route instead of buying them. It’s fitting that the top three categories browsed during this time of year are: 1) DIY & Crafts, 2) Holidays & Events, and 3) Food & Drink.

The study also revealed an increase in Pinterest usage during the holidays. Over half of Pinterest users spend more time on the site during the holiday months (54 percent) and 43 percent of Pinners have a board designated for the holidays. Sixty-six percent are very satisfied with Pinterest’s collection of winter holiday-themed ideas, but two-thirds of Pinterest users said that Pinterest could add subcategories within Holidays & Events to improve their experience.

If you’re pining for more, check out our Pinterest infographic below (click to enlarge).

Lab42 Infographic - Pinterest Holiday

This Lab42 survey was conducted among 500 Pinterest users in the United States, ages 18 and up, from November 13-14, 2013.


How to drive your PR strategy using data

2014 is right around the corner, and for many of you, now is the time to be brainstorming and thinking of fresh ways to get press in the new year. Even if you have a few PR strategies up your sleeve, there’s always room for new ideas.

To that end, I recently participated in a webinar with Mike Santoro from tech PR firm Walker Sands. Mike and I are both passionate about the power of PR, storytelling and data.

I admit that the idea of  generating and analyzing data can be intimidating, so in putting this webinar together, we wanted to provide tips for any B2B or B2C company on how to use data in order to get media coverage. We used many real examples and success stories to show that there isn’t just one right way.

We boiled it down and came up with eight simple steps to fuel your PR strategy–many of which you can take action on today. On a high level, you’ll learn how to:

To take notes along the way, download the webinar slides below.