The Social Bowl: How the Super Bowl Ads Fared on Facebook and Twitter

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PepsiCo (PEP) may have wasted its money on the six-month-long contest it staged for consumers to make their own Super Bowl ads for Doritos and Pepsi Max, if a survey of 255,431 mentions on Twitter, Facebook and other social media is to be believed.

It’s not that Pepsi didn’t get a lot of mentions on microblogs and other new digital media. And people had positive things to say about the commercials that aired. It’s that Volkswagen got the most mentions, and the most positive mentions, simply by releasing a single ad — its adorable Darth Vader spot — just four days before the big game, according to buzz measurement company Alterian.

Groupon also got noticed more than most advertisers on social media, but for all the wrong reasons, Alterian’s study shows.