[Posted by Jeremiah Owyang]

Josh Bernoff and I conducted an interesting experiment.  We encouraged the twitter community (social media, marketing, advertising mavens) to join in on providing real-time ratings about ads during the superbowl.  You can read how we invited the community to participate.

Twitter is a next-generation chat room with social network features, individuals can quickly publish from a computer or cell phone, and their network can quickly see, share and respond.  It’s really pushes content quickly and sometimes, news breaks there before it does elsewhere. 

I asked the participants to to ‘reply’ to a twitter account I created (called "superbowlads") and to say the name of the commercial, and give a rating of up to 5 stars, and to include some qualitative feedback.

Our experiment was a success, we had over 2000 responses from over 70 people over a 4 hour period.  In some cases, there was a real dichotomy in responses, (some loved an ad while some hated it).

Josh completed a very thorough analysis (see ratings and rankings, and see spreadsheets to see what people said) making sense of sometimes qualitative feedback or difficult to understand opinions (a six pack of beer can do that to a fan).  He applied some weighting to it and was able to score the ads.

What’s interesting is that the poll results from USA Today aren’t too different than what we gathered at our twitterbowl.  Fedex, and Budwiser both scored well, and some of the poor scoring ads like Sales Genie both ended up with lower numbers.  Now that’s interesting, but not surprising, that our smaller sample size of highly engaged twitterati ended up with similar trends.

Coincidently, today is Super Tuesday where many Americans will be voting, and I see that Google and Twitter are working together to create a map mashup to show real-time voices of which user is voting for who.   

Expect this trend of real-time rating through social media to continue, and by this time next year, I hope to work with a sophisticated group who can take our little experiment to the next level.