Brands Cozy Up To College Football Audience, But Bob Newhart Has The Winning Tweet

The championship game of first NCAA football playoff is prime target for real-time marketers, but comedian comes up with the line of the night.

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It wasn’t quite a Super Bowl, or even a super night of witty real-time marketing but college football’s national championship game Monday night turned out to be a nice warmup for the upcoming bigger game.

The college football championship presented a larger target this year, given that it was the culmination of the NCAA’s first playoffs for major college football, following semifinal games on New Year’s Day that each drew a record cable-television audience of more than 28 million.

There was no obvious or overwhelming winner among the handful of brands that joined the conversation of Twitter during the game, which was won 42-20 by Ohio State.

Turnovers — Ohio State gave up the ball four times — got most of the attention early with Arby’s and Men’s Humor weighing with pastry jibes (that are becoming standard fare for football games):

Butterfinger, the Nestle brand, chimed in on the turnover theme with a play on its slippery namesake candy:

Butterfinger’s tweet, in fact, came after several other brands, including Pac Sun, jokingly accused the candy company of sabotage:

Taco Bell, which sponsored student sections in the stadium for both teams, providing 1,000 free tickets for each, stayed neutral:

Whataburger didn’t play favorites either, tweeting before the game:

Denny’s, a seasoned veteran of the RTM game, again didn’t pull any punches. Last year after Auburn’s loss to Florida State in the BCS championship game, Denny’s taunted Auburn fans with a map showing Denny’s locations on the drive home from the Rose Bowl to Alabama. This year seconds after Ohio State took a 35-20 lead over the Ducks early in the fourth quarter, Denny’s tweeted this:

But the best line of the night came not from a brand but from comedian Bob Newhart. Like many viewers, Newhart noticed a uncanny resemblance to the game’s head referee, and tweeted:

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About the author

Martin Beck
Martin Beck was Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter from March 2014 through December 2015.

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