So, who won the Super Bowl ad race?

A 30-second commercial in this year’s Super Bowl – Super Bowl XLV – cost each advertiser approximately $3 million. $3 million is a lot of money to spend for 30 seconds of TV air time; that’s about $100,000 a second. But one of the reasons big brands are willing to spend that kind of cash on an ad is that the ads live on through the web and social media, well beyond the 30 seconds they appear on television. Many brands even released their ads early, posting them on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter last week. And lots of these advertisers have coordinated social media campaigns around the Super Bowl, extending their reach well beyond the TV. So that $3 million could end up having a huge impact.

This weekend, we worked with Resource Interactive to monitor tweets about the brands advertising during Super Bowl XLV so we could understand which ads and which brands generated the most conversation on Twitter. We tracked Twitter mentions of the 30+ major Super Bowl advertisers, measuring tweet volume and overall impressions generated for these brands during the game. Tim Wilson has written an excellent post about his analysis at Resource.

We ranked the top-performing advertisers by overall tweet volume generated during the Super Bowl. Some of these brands ran one ad (Chrysler), while others ran multiple ads (Doritos). The winners for total brand mentions* are:

1. Doritos – 56,000+ tweets

2. Chrysler – 39,000+ tweets

3. Pepsi – 32,000+ tweets

4(tie). Best Buy – 26,000+ tweets

4(tie). Volkswagen – 26,000+ tweets

6. Anheuser-Busch – 25,000+ tweets

7. Groupon – 22,000+ tweets

8. GoDaddy.com – 19,000+ tweets

9. Chevrolet – 18,000+ tweets

10. Audi – 14,000+ tweets

And, the part you’ve all been waiting for – the most-tweeted about individual commercials. There are a few surprises in this list. No Budweiser ads in the top ten, newcomer Groupon makes an aggressive appearance, and the top ad generated nearly twice as many tweets as its next closest competitor. So, here’s the list of the top Super Bowl XLV ads by tweet volume:

1. Chrysler: Imported from Detroit

2. Doritos: House Sitting

3. Doritos: The Best Part

4. “Captain America” Movie Trailer

5. “Thor” Movie Trailer

6. “Transformers” Movie Trailer

7. Best Buy with Bieber and Ozzy

8. Pepsi Max: First Date

9. Skechers

10. Pepsi Max: Love Hurts

11. Audi: Release the Hounds

12. Snickers: Logging

13. Groupon: Tibet

Since there were three movie trailers in the top ten, we decided to list the top 13 commercials, just in case you don’t count trailers as true commercials.

We’re going to be digging into these data for further in-depth analysis over the next few days, so check back for more.

*Due to high tweet volumes about these ads during the Super Bowl, Twitter at times imposed some collection rate limits, which means that these counts include between 70% and 90% of all possible tweets. The numbers above can be interpreted directionally, just know that they are slightly lower than the true number of tweets for each brand.

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