#HashTags Versus Domains in Super Bowl LII TV Ads

Well, the City of Philadelphia is certainly feeling brotherly and lovely a day after handing the New England Patriots a loss in Super Bowl LII, 41-33.

Most folks questioned whether I was for the Eagles or Patriots. My answer: I hope they both lose! 🤣

I’m a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan, quoting loudly the following each and every season:

“The Cowboys are going to win the Super Bowl and we won’t be buying tickets!”

Of course, examining my statement, you’ll find nowhere in my statement did or do I ever claim which year it’ll be that the Cowboys will win the Super Bowl! 😁

As for Super Bowl LII, it was a good game of momentum swings that favored the Eagles in the end.

And hats off to the underdog Eagles for flying high and winning their city of “Brotherly Love” its first Lombardi Trophy. 🦅🏈

And yes, someone (don’t know who!) already registered 🦅🏈.ws and 🏈🦅.ws emoji domains (yes, emoji domains are REAL!).  But I digress.

I don’t know about you, but watching the Super Bowl is not quite the same when your team is not in the running for the NFL’s number one spot.

Nevertheless, while many Super Bowl parties happened across the country and throughout the world, my immediate family and I watched from the confines of our comfy abode purposely without friends, neighbors, or other family members.

Truthfully, when the Cowboys aren’t in the Super Bowl, which has been the last 20+ years and counting (🤭), I often focus on my attention on commercials, and their use or non-use of domain names.

This year’s Super Bowl used a combination of #HashTags and domains throughout the game to allow Pepsi to promote the HalfTime Show (used the domain PepsiHalfTime.com and #HashTag #PepsiHalfTime) and a funny, yet trending #HashTag of #AlMichaelsShakeYourBooty. 😲

Although I didn’t see every commercial run, Super Bowl LII seemed to have been more about companies promoting their brand via #HashTags than domains.

This is not to say domains were not used, but that I only managed to see most commercials touting #HashTags.

In my opinion, the most memorable #HashTag ads were the #TideAd, #SpitFire by Doritos, and #IceCold by Mountain Dew. Kraft also ran Super Bowl ads with #HashTags rather than a domain.

There were a handful of companies with Super Bowl ads donning domains.  There’s the Pizza Hut commercial with Terrell Owens, a former Philly Eagle, getting as close to NFL football as he’ll likely ever be: a Super Bowl commercial. 🤫

However, the one Super Bowl add using a domain that caught my attention was MassMutual’s use of a keyword/phrase domain: TheUnsung.com.

TheUnsung.com redirects to the MassMutual website displaying a video celebrating the stories of incredible heroes to remind us all that relying on one another makes life safe, happier, and more fulfilling.

TheUnsung.com was likely the best choice seeing due to Voya currently using and redirecting UnsungHeroes.com to it’s primary digital presence.

UnsungHero.com looks to be available for purchase via Uniregistry landing page, but it may have been pricier than TheUnsung.com. I don’t know that to be the truth, but speculating here. 😉

The remaining companies with Super Bowl ads donning domains chose to use their primary or secondary domain with a sub-directory appended to it.

I’m not much of a fan for this type of advertising. It’s already a challenge to get customers to remember a domain name much less a domain plus a sub-directory . Nevertheless, I spotted the following companies:

There were also a number of movie trailers donning domains or #HashTags:

Oh yeah, I didn’t see any Super Bowl ads running NEW DOMAIN EXTENSIONS (doesn’t mean that it didn’t happened, just I didn’t see it.).

Closing Thoughts

Whether a local, regional, national or global company, I’ve always wondered whether or not Super Bowl TV ads are truly worth their weight in gold.

Sure, there are millions of eyes glued to the annual televised event. Too, I understand the importance of a brand getting in front of those eyeballs in hopes of converting sales.

But really, do Super Bowl ads really work, especially when using #HashTags?

After all, a #HashTag can be hijacked by competitors, disgruntled employees, vendors, and customers, and the occasional jokester.

In my opinion, the hijacking of a domain name is less likely to happen, if at all, than using a #HashTag.

What are your thoughts about the Super Bowl LII ads, and their use of #HashTags and domains?

Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.