L2 released the Super Bowl Insight Report in partnership with ispot.tv this week, and the biggest winner appears to be Budweiser. With an advertising budget of $17.7 million (small compared to Chevrolet, Geico and Universal Pictures spots), Budweiser released the winning ad “Lost Puppy.” The sequel to the 2014 “Puppy Love” was viewed 44 million times on YouTube and Facebook, more than any other commercial in the 2015 Super Bowl.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 10.56.29 PMThere’s more to Lost Puppy’s success than cute animals. Budweiser had a pre-game release strategy. Anheuser-Busch had invested heavily in digital promotions tied to their ads before, during and after the game. A week before, they ran the online ad “Clydesdale Beer Run” promoting their efforts for the Super Bowl. During the game, Budweiser bought Promoted Tweets against pricey keywords related to competing advertisers.

Facebook played an important role in Lost Puppy’s success. As the graph above shows, the video took off on Facebook before YouTube views caught up. On release day, the video had 18x more views on Facebook than YouTube. The gap closed towards game day, when Facebook views were just 1.2x YouTube.

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