StatSocial Proves that SunTrust Bank’s #SB50 Debut Made its Mark from Coast to Coast

Feb 16, 2016 | Insights

(To get a better idea of who we are, and what we do, and why you need us, head on over to this entry here)

We won’t bury the lede here.

With this entry, we’ll be presenting some of the legitimately surprising, insightful, and compelling social media stats and findings related to gutsy first time Super Bowl advertiser, Atlanta-based bank holding chain SunTrust Banks.

Ah, so we see this Super Bowl ad isn’t your first time ‘thinking big,’ is it SunTrust?

As we’ve lately been explaining, our primary focus at our blog recently has been extracting the sweet nectar from the piles of Super Bowl 50 related data we collected.

(Although we do hope you enjoyed our GRAMMY intermission.)

As we explored last week, Super Bowl 50 — as with many Super Bowls before it, and for many decades now — found its top-dollar ad spots bought up for the most part by its many Bud Light and Doritos type stalwarts. As much a part of the game as helmets and shoulder pads.

And as we documented earlier, some longstanding, household name brands will one year take the multi-million simoleon plunge. The reasons and goals vary, but we do know that sometimes these first-timers and seeming one-offers will become regular advertisers themselves.

Still, while we’re certain such choices are not made lightly, these are companies with advertising budgets in the seven to eight figures. We’re sure the stories behind their choices are interesting ones, and we may very well tell them here, but right now we’re looking at the little guys willing to think big.

We’re Americans. We like underdogs, scrappy entrepreneurs, and those with guts and vision.

Atlanta-based SunTrust Bank has long had a Super Bowl vision. They’ve participated in the Big Game’s advertising frenzy for years, but only buying local spots.

This time around — if we may employ an analogy from the entirely wrong sport — they decided to stop settling for singles, and to swing for the fences. Purchasing prime national commercial real estate just before the two minute warning of the fourth quarter (when the already exorbitant ad time costs even more), SunTrust decided it was time for America — the whole enchilada, not just Georgia and Florida, and their southeastern region — to deal with them.

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and the entirety of the Super Bowl 50 viewing audience (those who were not peeing or getting nachos) got to meet SunTrust in a big bad way. “HELLO AMERICA! WE ARE ON THE SUPER BOWL!”

The spot’s message was straightforward: Most of America is worried about money these days, we live, but we’re — to quote a phrase radically out of its most familiar pop culture context — all “waiting to exhale.” SunTrust is here, and they’re equipped with oxygen tanks (neither literally, nor even symbolically in the commercial, we just added that ourselves). Relief can and shall be known.

It’s a damned good commercial in our opinion.

But could it make a dent? While fourth quarter ads cost more, because more people are watching, they’re also airing during what can be tense portions of the game — now that it’s no longer a given that the game will be a blow out (as once was the case in the 70s and 80s) — where the last thing on anyone’s mind is some bank (except for the one from which they’ll have to withdraw money if they lose their bet).

The only thing a Super Bowl ad guarantees you is a lot of eyes on your brand and/or product for a certain number of seconds.

But, well, that isn’t such a bad place to start. In this case it was a question of whether it was worth an entire quarter’s ad budget.

SunTrust and their agency, New York’s Strawberry Frog have yet to share with us their perception of things.

But we can tell you what we know, and we’d say it could look a lot worse.

We ran reports on SunTrust both during the week before the game, and then during and immediately after the game. Our analysis — per usual — comes with insights we believe the good folks at SunTrust and Strawberry Frog may find quite interesting.

Right off the bat, as the buzz we kept hearing on SunTrust was that they were a regional brand trying to go big, we went right to that data.

Here are the pre-game, geolocation numbers.

Now, we would contend it’s no small thing that the game day and following Monday numbers looked like this.

Okay, you’ve still got your Florida, and you’ve still got your Georgia. Which is good. They’re your bread and butter.

But HELLO, New York and California! And, we might add, California constituting a portion of the audience roughly equivalent to that of your home state.

People did notice the ad, evidently, and they told their friends about it on social media, and they were not just from the southeast.

Age and sex demographics held steady, with the post-game population growing slightly more male from 51% to 53%. More noteworthy, given the focus on financial planning, the over 54-years of age set grew from 29% pre-game to 32% post-game.

Prior to the Super Bowl the top investment and/or brokerage firms with this audience were Pennsylvania’s The Vanguard Group, Newport Beach, California’s PIMCO Group, and Wall Street stalwart J.P. Morgan.

Excepting that the last on that list is no upstart, it’s still worth noting the game day and post-game crowd seems much more confidently tied in with what remains of the old, Wall Street establishment; with Goldman Sachs comfortably leading the way, and then Morgan Stanley.

But in third place? just to keep a story from being perfect, or perhaps to make it too perfect, E*TRADE — a famously very prominent and memorable Super Bowl advertiser — occupied the third place spot with the game day and post-game crowd.

We’ll leave it to you to tell your own stories there. But we’re sure that’s an encouraging bit of data.


You didn’t need to see the above, because you will never forget these ads for so long as you live.

SunTrust you did good, not annoying CGI talking baby good, but good. Gasping for breath. It’s disturbing, but memorable, and they say the key is not being liked, just remembered.

Okay, so let’s say that SunTrust has really made their mark, and they’re now taking this show on the road from sea to shining sea. Where should those remaining TV ad bucks be spent?

You see one thing StatSocial knows that no one else does, but you soon will, is what national TV shows are most popular among those with whom SunTrust’s Super Bowl message most strongly resonated.

Here are the top 20.

RankingShowMultiple1The Daily Show22.282Mad Men18.173American Idol16.964Feherty15.85Game Of Thrones14.746Shark Tank14.677Good Morning America13.938Warren Miller Films12.139TODAY11.6710It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia10.3911Morning Drive9.312Psych8.5913Worldwide Exchange7.6814Monday Night Football7.6515dLife7.6416Downton Abbey7.2417Squawk Boz6.9918Modern Family6,9219Steve Harvey6.8520The Rachel Maddow Show5,93

As a quick refresher, what StatSocial’s “multiple” metric refers to is the likelihood of a certain topic’s fan also being interested in another topic; this is done using the average social media user as our baseline.

In other words, in the case of the above list, that means those who connected with SunTrust’s Super Bowl spot are 22 times more likely to be fans of the The Daily Show than the average social media user.

With everything from Game of Thrones (SunTrust folks nearly 15 times more likely to be fans than the average) to Downton Abbey prominently on the list, one thing we can say for certain is that the viewing habits of SunTrust’s fans are somewhat eclectic. And while, to its credit, not a list overrun with sporting shows, good ol’ Monday Night Football is still holding down the fort in the name of America’s autumn pastime.

This list speaks well of the spot’s universality, and SunTrust’s ability to be a name known beyond the southeastern United States.

Anyway, best to you, SunTrust and congrats on a fine commercial.