How Beyoncé won the Super Bowl

Submitted by on the 9th of February 2016

Beyoncé is no stranger to the Super Bowl Halftime show, having headlined it in 2013. This year, she was called on to support headliners Coldplay, alongside musician Bruno Mars. However, her performance, which came in at just under three minutes, overshadowed her co-stars, and, some would argue, the entire football match.

While the Super Bowl winners, the Denver Broncos, clocked 1.1 million Twitter mentions during the game, Beyoncé received more than double that number – 2.6 million mentions. Here’s how Queen B conquered Halftime:

Formidable Formation:

Let’s face it, every Beyoncé performance is highly anticipated, but this year; she upped the ante by releasing a video to a new song Formation 24 hours before the Super Bowl. In true Beyoncé style, she released the track without any promotion and the buzz from her legion of fans (called the Beyhive) ensured she trended on Twitter throughout the weekend.

Rumours swirled around the secretive star – would she use the Halftime show to release another ‘surprise’ album, as with 2014’s Beyoncé? Would she announce a tour? Immediately after her performance of Formation, fans’ questions were answered – in an advert, she announced her upcoming Formation World Tour.

Paying Homage to The King:

Beyoncé is known for giving nods to the legends that have come before her. During her 2013 Super Bowl Halftime performance, she donned an outfit in tribute to diva Tina Turner. This year, she graced the stage in a black and gold ensemble that mirrored the military-style jacket worn by Michael Jackson during his 1993 Super Bowl Halftime performance. The Jackson Five are also referenced in the lyrics to Formation.

Black Panthers and Politics:

While this year was the 50th Super Bowl, it was also the 50th anniversary of the formation of the now defunct Black Panther Party. Beyoncé and her dancers gave a nod to the movement by donning its signature black berets and they were photographed making the black power salute before hitting the stage. The video for Formation touches on elements of Black culture and has a strong affiliation to the Black Lives Matter movement, ushering a more political slant in Beyoncé’s music.

Introverted Beyoncé’s managed to remain relevant in a pop culture landscape that demands social media oversharing from its stars. While she might not do a lot of talking and rarely gives interviews, her response to the Zeitgeist – and the way she mixes novelty and nostalgia – lets her fans know that she’s always listening. After all, that’s the best social media strategy.