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The Halftime Show Was the Real Winner of the 2022 Super Bowl

4 min read

| February 18, 2022

What a Super Bowl! With a brand new stadium and the hip-hop genre making their Super Bowl debut, plus a football game :-), the 2022 Super Bowl delivered some incredible highlights. But one part of the “big game” really emerged as the true winner: The 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show. Canvs AI’s analysis shows that the halftime show generated the highest levels of conversation and the highest levels of emotional engagement by fans as measured by Canvs’ Emotional Reaction Rate. 

Summary
  • The 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show heavily outperformed the previous two halftime shows, while representing a major portion of the total 2022 Super Bowl conversation

  • Eminem’s performance and decision to kneel during the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show led to a flurry of passionate audience conversation

  • Outside of Eminem’s show-stopping performance, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Mary J. Blige were also able to drive extremely high levels of conversation during the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show

The 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show heavily outperformed the previous two halftime shows, while representing a major portion of the total 2022 Super Bowl conversation

There is no doubt that conversation around the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime show was massive with nearly 900K Total Tweets during the 2022 Super Bowl mentioning the halftime show. This nearly doubles the halftime show conversation of 2021 and 2020 combined

  • Beyond driving higher rates of Total Tweets, the 2022 halftime show also earned the highest Reaction Rate, or passion rate, when compared to the previous two Super Bowl Halftime Shows.
  • Higher rates of passion show that this halftime show wasn’t just driving conversation, but also was able to emotionally engage the audience in ways that previous Super Bowl Halftime shows didn’t.

Not only was the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show a huge success when compared to previous years’ Halftime Shows, they were also a massive success during this year’s Super Bowl. The time-series graph below highlights the two biggest conversation spikes of the night, the largest being the Halftime Show, and the second largest being the conclusion of the game.

While it is clear that the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show was able to to heavily outperform previous years shows, let’s dig in deeper to figure out what had everyone so excited about this year’s performances.

Eminem’s performance and decision to kneel during the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show led to a flurry of passionate audience conversation

Comfortably, Eminem was the biggest star of the Halftime Show. However, it was not his performance of Lose Yourself that had fans passionately engaging during his performance – it was his decision to kneel after his performance, a nod to Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem. The topic knee was mentioned in 17% of all Eminem-related comments during the Super Bowl and was the number one topic mentioned alongside Eminem.

Despite the controversial decision, the audience showed extremely high levels of support during his performance, with 87% of Eminem Emotional Reactions showing positive Emotions such as Love (61.3% of all Eminem Reactions), Crazy (6.6% of all Eminem Reactions), Enjoy (6.1% of all Eminem Reactions), and Excited (4.2% of all Eminem Reactions).

Verbatims:

  • Love: “My fav part of the super bowl show was seeing Eminem perform!!!”

  • Crazy: “Eminem taking a knee during the Super Bowl halftime show was a Shyamalan-level plot twist.”

  • Enjoy: “Eminem taking a knee ensures that he won’t be invited back. But it was worth it.”

  • Excited: “Eminem did the kneel they said he couldn’t do. Let’s go! #HalfTimeShow #SuperBowl”

Despite overwhelmingly positive feedback from Eminem’s performance and decision to kneel, there was not unanimous support for his actions. Around 4% of the audience reacting to Eminem elicited the Emotional Reaction Hate, finding his decision to kneel as potentially divisive.

Verbatim:

  • Hate: “Eminem takes a knee. Next time stay home, dude. We don’t need any more divisive gestures in America. Disgusted.”

Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Mary J. Blige drove extremely high levels of conversation during the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show

Several other performers drove high levels of meaningful conversation. Snoop Dogg (mentioned in 5.9% of all Halftime commentary), Dr. Dre (mentioned in 3.4% of all Halftime commentary), and Mary J. Blige (mentioned in 3.2% of all Halftime commentary) were also able to deliver high levels of passionate conversation.

Compared to Eminem, these other stars were far less divisive in their performances. Overall, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Mary J. Blige drove 98% positive Emotional Reactions, a 12% increase compared to Eminem’s performance.

Other highly-mentioned stars during the Halftime Show included 50 Cent, who made a surprise appearance alongside Dr. Dre, and Kendric Lamar performing his hit song “Alright”.

Verbatims:

  • Snoop Dogg: “@SnoopDogg I got chills watching that! Best halftime show of all time”

  • Dr. Dre: “THAT HALFTIME SHOW! DRE DAY DELIVERED #HalfTimeShow”

  • Mary J. Blige: “Can we talk about Ms Mary J Blige on that half time show??? She was fire!!!!!”

  • 50 Cent: “THIS THE BEST HALFTIME SHOW YET, 50 CENT HERE TOO?????”

  • Kendrick Lamar: “KENDRICK LAMAR HALFTIME SHOW PART IS SO DOPE”

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