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URLs Outdo Hashtags in Ads at Super Bowl LI

Great article:

Is the Hashtag over?  Researchers reveal Super Bowl ads have abandoned them (and Facebook and Twitter) for URLs.

  • Out of 66 ads only 30% of them had a hashtag - while 41% included a URL
  • This year had a 15% decrease in number of hashtags used in commercials
  • Twitter handles were only shown in 5 commercials and Facebook in 4

No surprise.  Hashtags don't drive customers to websites - URLs do.  Hashtags do relatively nothing, except a mediocre job at organizing content.  And hashtags are not owned by anyone, so a "hashtag takeover" is possible - by another brand or by people posting porn to that hashtag.  Not a good look when trying to trend something in your brand's favor.

One of the bigger fails in years past was using #CFP for the College Football Playoffs.  If you go out to Instagram now and search on #CFP, you'll see a bunch of stuff - football, but more cross-fit professionals.