Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show Pulls in New Consumer Base

The Super Bowl’s choice of halftime performers had the internet abuzz, as they promised to offer a mix of superstars performing for the first time ever on one stage. Best of all? It reawakened a part of their consumer base to tune in and talk about the event, which naturally amplified brand advertisements – which is always a big draw for consumers, regardless.

Here, we’ll look at how the Super Bowl halftime lineup had consumers talking and how your brand can capture conversations around major events to get in on the action. Specifically, we’ll cover the following:

  • Super Bowl halftime show highlighting rap, r&b, and hip-hop superstars
  • Comparing Super Bowl conversations of the past
  • Capturing audience differences from past discussions on social media

The Importance of Continuous Consumer & Market Intelligence

Here are a few statistics that’ll put the Super Bowl conversation into context:

  • Super Bowl viewership is up 23% for the 2022 Rams-Bengals game compared to the Bucs-Chiefs match of 2021.
  • There were only 4 million Super Bowl viewers in 2021 – the worst draw since 2007.
  • The viewership record for the Super Bowl was set in 2015 by a record 4 million viewers when the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 on February 1, 2015, in Glendale, Arizona, for Super Bowl XLIX.

There’s a lot of talk around the water cooler concerning Super Bowl 56’s choice of halftime lineup – and rightfully so. Let’s check it out and see how monitoring these conversations should inform direct your marketing.

Halftime Show Digs Deep into Roots of Rap and Hip Hop

Whether you’re a die-hard sports fan or not, the Super Bowl halftime show is one of the biggest stages on the planet. For those who don’t care too much for football, the musical acts and commercials aired during the event offer as much fun as the game itself.

And this year – fans were in for a treat. While viewership was lackluster during the 2021 Super Bowl during the height of the pandemic, consumers tuned into this year’s offering because, arguably, there hasn’t been a better halftime lineup in years. And some tuned in because they were happy Tom Brady wasn’t in it – but that’s a different topic.

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar are showstoppers – and represent a once-in-a-lifetime meeting of rap and R&B powerhouses on one stage. Honestly, it’s just what the doctor ordered for an audience that’s weary of pandemic life. The lineup is a Gen X throwback that’s a breath of fresh air for viewers who grew up on Gin and Juice while looking for jobby jobs.

So, how does your brand get in on this conversation? It’s not just about today – it’s about yesterday too. You can capture these conversations in real-time using social listening to give you the forward-thinking competitive intelligence you need to shine during any major event. Let’s look at that.

Comparing Super Bowl Conversations in the Past

Last year’s Super Bowl viewership left a lot to be desired. That’s obvious given the pains of the pandemic on life in general.  Let’s look at the 2020 iteration of the Super Bowl conversation, which happened right before the pandemic captured worldwide attention in March. At that point, life was still relatively normal.

Life was good back then – with the conversation enjoying 95% positivity on a net sentiment scale of -100 to 100. That’s insane.


The Bucs-Chiefs game of Super Bowl LV in 2021 didn’t fare as well on the positivity spectrum, coming in at only 35% positive. In all fairness, people were sick of staying at home and had a lot of time on their hands. And no hate here, but many social users yawned over the fact that Tom Brady was in the Super Bowl yet again. Many would-be viewers simply tuned out due to general apathy.


What can brands learn from narratives such as this? Grabbing consumer intelligence measurements using social listening can help your brand prepare for the next go around. Who is watching, and what’s drawing them in?

These are the questions your brand should be asking. And it’s how you can see when your audience’s ears perk up to a new take on major events. Consumer intelligence has been sitting there all along – you just need to pick up what they’re putting down.

Spotting Differences Using Social Listening for Major Events

Demographic and psychographic (beliefs, interests) data goes a long way in telling you how consumer behavior has changed. Social media monitoring captures the social conversation around key events, which can measure movement over time. It answers how people feel from one period to the next.

For the Super Bowl in 2021, the 25-34 age group picked up most of the conversation online at 18%. Gender was split 66% male and 34% female. Interests among social users fell among family (29%), sports (21%), religion (14%), and music (12%). Ethnicities skewed Caucasian (64%) and Black (12%).

In 2022’s social conversation, net sentiment for the Super Bowl has picked up to 49% leading up to the big event. Again, the 25-34 age group picked up the bulk of the conversation at 18%. Viewers interested in family grew a percentage point to 30%, and sports gained five percentage points to reach 26%. Religion fell a point to 13%, as did music to 11%. Gender had the most significant movement coming in at 74% male and 26% female.

While last year’s Super Bowl didn’t capture standard viewership numbers, the halftime show featuring The Weeknd obviously hit a chord with fans. The NFL has doubled down, signing the most iconic lineup in history.


Whether your brand cares about the Super Bowl or not, there’s a competitive intelligence lesson to be had here. Eyeing these conversations on social media using social media can be an eye-opening experience. And that’s especially true for narratives that your competitors take for granted. The Super Bowl happens every year, right? Yeah, things might get sleepy for a bit, but staying on top helps your brand stay on top of changes that point towards next year.

Mentions of halftime in the social conversation last year were weak. The Weeknd was the headliner, but even most of his dedicated social cluster had little to do with the halftime show itself. Here, we can see the top clusters for 2021’s Super Bowl with mentions of ‘halftime’ highlighted.


Top Ten Super Bowl conversations in 2021 with ‘halftime’ highlighted, showing general apathy alongside low viewership. Feb. 2021.

Fast forward to today, and it’s a different story. Obviously, the lineup for LVI’s halftime show has generated interest online, as you can see below – and interest in online sports betting is something to watch too.


Top Ten Super Bowl conversations in 2022. Feb. 2022.

So, what’s the difference? Is it just people are so happy about the Bengals making it to the Super Bowl after 33 years? Well, that’s part of it. The halftime choices have a lot to do with the changing nature of the conversation as well. Simple demographics don’t tell the story, though. And that’s why brands need social media monitoring in their toolbox to understand how social conversations change over time.

Consumer intelligence is all about monitoring conversations such as this to capture what’s behind the change. If you can do that, you can stay ahead of what’s going on with consumers in real-time. Reach out for a demo – we’ll help you stay up to date with the conversations that matter to your audience.

The Importance of Continuous Consumer & Market Intelligence

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