The Lady Gaga effect - ad success as Super Bowl fans drop phones to tune in

Sunday's Super Bowl uncovered some interesting internet reactions about our watching patterns during the game.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Content delivery platform Fastly has been looking at the data during the Super Bowl on Sunday. It noticed some significant surges in traffic throughout the game.

It reported that global internet traffic began to drop around 5 PM ET on Sunday as sports fans began to tune in for the Super Bowl.

By the time the teams got to kick-off, internet traffic had dropped by 19.7 percent. This drop was lower than the 12 percent drop in traffic at last year's kick-off.

Traffic to New England news publications was 37 percent lower as compared to the same time last week as nervous sports fans watched the game instead of checking the news.

The Lady Gaga effect had a significant surge - and drop - in traffic on Sunday. Mobile app Shazam which recognises music and TV around you had its biggest increase in traffic during the game.

Traffic surged by 337 percent when Lady Gaga played her new song during halftime and viewers used Shazam to identify the song.

Internet traffic then dropped at halftime (8:13 PM ET) by 23 percent. Viewers focused their full attention on Lady Gaga's performance. Fastly reported that this was an even more significant dip than last year's halftime Beyoncé traffic drop of 15 percent.

Fastly also saw a 24 percent drop in traffic to women's interest publications at the start of the halftime show as fans focused on Lady Gaga's performance.

However, this traffic dip not last long. Viewers soon went online again to react to Lady Gaga's performance. Immediately after the halftime show ended, new media traffic rose by 53 percent as people discussed her routine and daring jump down into the stadium.

Following the halftime show, general internet traffic rose by 36 percent as viewers went online to engage with post-halftime coverage.

Advertisers noticed a good increase in traffic too. On average, Fastly customers that were running Super Bowl ads saw traffic increases of 437 percent. The highest increase was 1,880 percent after a particularly popular ad.


    Audi of America's Super Bowl ad generated praise before the game for its focus on gender pay equality. The ad aired at 8:30 PM ET, and experienced an immediate surge as viewers engaged with the brand online. Traffic to audiusa.com spiked by 1,880 percent shortly after the ad aired.

    Given that online streaming is taking over the way people consume entertainment, these are interesting statistics from Fastly's data.

    Sentiment in coverage and viewer reactions to your online investment in ads is important for you to prove your ROI. Watching the spikes in traffic during key moments during the game will have made some advertisers very pleased indeed.

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