But is X still the place to be during the Super Bowl? | PR Week

But is X still the place to be during the Super Bowl? | PR Week

KemperLesnik’s senior account director, Audrey Wayne, talked to PRWeek about the role of X during Super Bowl week.


It depends. Are users watching the game for the game? Or for something — or someone — else?

Audrey Wayne, a senior account director at KemperLesnik who leads the firm’s sports, recreation and hospitality practice, says X needs to stay in Super Bowl Sunday brand playbooks.

“Until the other platforms can do real-time, X is inevitable for live sports,” she says.

But that doesn’t mean they haven’t shifted some budget to other platforms.

“People do like time to digest, so deep dives will do well on Instagram and TikTok,” says Wayne, who also expects some brand activity on Threads, Meta’s version of X.

However, at 10.3 million daily active users, Threads has a long way to go to catch X’s 253 million DAUs. “Threads will do its best and it’s important to be there, but don’t expect too many needle-movers to come from it this year. If they do it well, they can make it a must for 2025,” she says.

“Twitter has historically been the place audiences and brands turn for engagement around real-time events like the Super Bowl,” says Erin Ledbetter, EVP and head of digital at Ketchum. “But the conversation leading up the game so far suggests this year will look very different,” citing research of year-over-year drops in pre-Super Bowl conversations on X.

“That’s just one more sign that the platform is losing relevance and has failed to become the global town square that Musk promised,” notes Ledbetter. “We’ve seen the early Super Bowl conversation from brands and users alike shift to TikTok and Instagram, but it will be interesting to see what happens on game day. Where will users turn for real-time conversation about the game, the ads and Taylor?”

Taylor Swift, who is dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, is the wild card.

“I think we’re going see more fulfillment of omni-channel than we ever have, because of the growth of a secondary audience for the Super Bowl [who have become fans and followers because of Swift],” says Michael Jacobson, SVP at R&CPMK, who leads the agency’s talent and influencer group.

Her fans, after all, use several apps and many are not X users.

“Twitter is still going to be a huge part of Sunday’s dialogue, and brands need to be part of that dialogue, but I think the conversation is going to be across all social media,” says Jacobson.

“Don’t underestimate the cross-platform opportunities that exist for audiences of all ages that are seeking Super Bowl-related brand content, including during the game itself,” agrees Chris Console, EVP and North America sports lead at BCW. “Brands must meet their consumers where they are, which is no longer in one single place.”

“Instagram doesn’t feed that real-time itch like the others,” says Shaun Clair, cofounder of Gray Wolf, “but provides a slower-moving but more consistent content funnel in the days and hours that lead up to the game.”

But if they had to pick one platform, some say TikTok will rise to the top.

“TikTok is arguably the best in-game and postgame medium,” says Greg Tedesco, U.S. head of digital at Zeno Group. “TikTok has become a force with its algorithm and capability as a search engine. Users will search for reaction to their favorite commercials in real-time, rewatch Usher’s half time performance and dig into on-the-field and in-the-stands happenings [such as Taylor Swift].”

As well, he notes the NFL and its teams “have leaned into creating content native to TikTok, incorporating in-app trends and sounds to reach new and existing audiences.” That means “brands don’t necessarily need to create original TikToks to be a part of the conversation as they can simply stitch, repost or comment to get users and creators engaged,” explains Tedesco.

“TikTok will be a major player for brands and creators during the game, and I think we’ll see a combination of live activations, agile content and proactive brand banter taking place more than usual in the comments sections of trending videos,” says Eric Petersen, SVP and North America social strategy lead at Weber Shandwick.

“However, X will continue to dominate sports-related conversation, which will lend itself as a platform that brands will use to mine for real-time reactive opportunities,” says Petersen. “We’ll also likely see brands who have left X over the past year place healthy bets on Meta’s Threads to complement their real-time Instagram strategies and will tap platforms like Snap and its creative AR filter and lens products to capture younger audiences’ attention.”

“X is for the specific moments that happen—a controversial penalty flag or an injury update, for example,” agrees Clair. “TikTok will be a main platform for brands. It will capture—and help amplify—the big themes and moments.”

This story was updated on February 8 to correct Petersen’s title.