Not surprisingly, the metrics are confirming that Denny’s got a lot of attention with its Super Bowl commercial promoting a free Grand Slam Breakfast last Tuesday.

Denny’s reported that its $3 million commercial drew two million people into its 1,600 outlets in North America and Puerto Rico. The total expense of $5 million for the promotion also yielded $50 million in news coverage, the restaurant chain estimated.

Online buzz was also intense. According to the Social Media Index (SMI) developed by social media services provider Vitrue, which measures the extent of online conversations about a brand in social networks, blogs, Twitter and video/photo sharing on a daily basis, Denny’s SMI jumped from a pre-game 22 to 45.6 by last Wednesday. As of last Thursday, the gains were holding up, with an SMI of 44.1.

The words “Grand Slam Breakfast” also showed a big SMI leap, from under 1 to 3.03 as of Wednesday. As of Thursday, that SMI was at 2.64.

ComScore, which conducts online consumer surveys before and after the game, confirmed that Denny’s was among the advertisers that saw measurable benefits from their ads.

It reported that 15% of respondents said they visited an advertiser’s Web site after viewing its Super Bowl ad, and that the three most-visited were GoDaddy (29%), Denny’s (23%) and Coca-Cola (22%).

One post-game question focused on whether an ad had improved, damaged or left unchanged their perceptions of the advertised brands. Denny’s saw the third-highest net improvement score (a 39-percentage-point gain).

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