On Super Bowl XLVI Sunday, the New York Giants will challenge the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, but the real action will actually take place on Twitter feeds, Facebook statuses, Pinterest boards, the blogosphere, and smartphones.
Gone are the days when the Super Bowl is just a championship game between the AFC and NFC champions. It is now a live forum for worldwide commentary, minute-by-minute updates, and of course, the analysis of humorous commercials. The Super Bowl is more than a game—it is super for a reason!
Baseball may be America’s past time, but the Super Bowl represents a monumental event that transcends the sport, uniting fair-weather fans and die-hards alike to celebrate more than a game. Outside of sporting events that take place on a four year cycle like the Olympics and World Cup, the Super Bowl is the quintessential marketing vehicle for building an intersection between outdoor, television, digital, and mobile.
As technology continues to blue the line between television and the social web, the Super Bowl’s giant ecosystem of Twitter posts, Facebook status updates, and other real-time sites presenting an increasingly effective value proposition for business marketing their products and services.
Social Media Command Center
This year’s match up brings together a familiar rivalry, but despite the two teams’ history, this Super Bowl is in a new digital frontier. Super Bowl XLVI will undoubtedly be a different game than all the others. This year, a 30 second slot for the Super Bowl costs an average of about $3.5 million dollars. However the real value is in the social media conversation that will take place on Facebook and Twitter. Last year, Twitter reported a staggering 4,064 tweets per second during certain parts of the game. Viewers will engage on a level unseen in any other Super Bowls, and at a rate that may not be seen again until next year’s Super Bowl. With a Social Media Command Center set up in downtown Indianapolis, users will watch, engage, and get real time responses.
Most marketers would kill for that kind of engagement data, which is precisely what the Command Center was designed to do this year. With over a mile of Ethernet cable, more than 150 square feet of computer screens, and over 20 staff members online, the NFL will generate media gold via real time data and conversation demonstrating the value of dynamic and reactive content marketing.
Television Commercial Teasers
Another interesting aspect to the lead-up to Super Bowl XLVI is the excessive amount of commercial teasers that seeded online in an effort to promote buzz for the commercials that will air during the night of the Big Game. As we all know, Super Bowl advertisement are no longer just an ad buy created with the goal of reaching a multi-million household television audience.
As in the past few years, a growing number of companies are taking to YouTube, blogs, and their own online media channels to build the buzz for multi-million dollar investment in a Super Bowl time slot. Volkswagen, Honda, GoDaddy.com, Skechers , and even Hulu have released previews of their Super Bowl ads. NBC is promoting Youtube’s Ad Blitz as well as hosting a Post-Game Google+ Hangout where fans can vote on the best ads. This ‘commercial hype’ could be the start of a trend that viewers will see more of in the future.
Second Screen and Social TV
Since the inception of the iPad, the second screen has become more and more common place as a complimentary experience to watching television. social television , and this Sunday will put social TV on full display. In a study conducted by Coca-Cola, 60% of viewers watching the game will be watching with their mobile device.
For every viewer with a smartphone, an iPad, or a tablet device, the ability to engage online in real time is better than ever. Applications like Shazam and GetGlue will be in full force as well, allowing fans to check in to the game and access exclusive content. For example, fans can earn the Coming Soon sticker below on GetGlue when they check-in to the Super Bowl between now and the day before the Big Game. GetGlue will offer another sticker for checking in when fans watch the game on NBC on February 6 starting at 6:30pm.
Brands that spend millions of dollars to communicate their messages via the TV screen can now make their messages jump out of the screen and into people’s mobile devices.
The opportunities are endless for viewers, but the real opportunities lie within the feedback that businesses receive from their promotions. There are a lot of new and returning social media features to this Sunday’s big game. Here’s a rundown of the major campaigns to look forward to:
Chevrolet’s ‘Game Time’ Application
Chevy’s new app, which has been available since the NFC Championship games, poses trivia and poll questions about the game, the teams, and the commercials. The lucky folks who guess correctly or answer the most popular poll questions will be entered into a drawing to win one of twenty Chevrolets or prizes from Chevrolet, Bridgestone, Motorola, Papa John’s Pizza, Sirius XM Radio, and NFLShop.com. The coolest part: everyone that downloads the app receives a ‘license plate’ number, which can be matched to any plate in Chevy’s commercial spots during the game.
Coca-Cola Polar Bears
Coca-Cola, in its everlasting battle with Pepsi, stands as one of the Super Bowl’s oldest and most consistent ad revenues. In an effort to implement second screen capabilities into its Super Bowl campaign, Coca-Cola is bringing its trademark polar bears into real time by creating a website that users can visit and see the reactions of the polar bears to the Big Game.
Coke will televise the micro site in their ad spots for viewers to see, along with photos that real Coke employees upload into the live stream. The campaign is going live this Thursday in hopes of engaging viewers to check Coke’s online presence via Facebook, Twitter, mobile apps, and their micro site.
Pio Schunker, head of integrated marketing platforms for Coke North America outlines the overall objective for the campaign,
The trick is to be everywhere consumers are and that means having a presence on the TV broadcast, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other popular sites”.
VW is coming off of a successful ad campaign with an award for last year’s Super Bowl commercial. This year, they’re bringing back the Star Wars theme with a ‘Welcome to the Bark Side’ spot. What VW lacks in fan engagement in this campaign, they make up for in having a cemented Super Bowl presence, which they know will result in viewers talking about their commercial on social media.
Doritos Crash The Super Bowl: Hollywood Edition
Since it started in 2007, Doritos has seen amazing success by crowd sourcing the creation of Super Bowl commercials through social media. Consumers are given the opportunity to upload an original advertisement online where other consumers can vote for their favorite via the Doritos promotional website. Only this year, the stakes are even higher.
In addition to having their commercial aired during the Super Bowl, Doritos is offering the winner of the contest $1 million dollar cash prize along with an opportunity to work on a future Doritos brand project with The Lonely Island. As for the fans that vote? Doritos is offering cash prizes for fans based on the number of fan votes; the more votes, the more cash that they give away. This provides great incentive for viewers to engage with the Doritos micro site as well as their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Motorola OCNN Reporter Contest
Motorola is going big this year by teaming up with Chad Ochocinco to offer fans the opportunity to win a chance to become a reporter for the OCNN (Ochocinco News Network). Fans were asked to send in a 30-second video explaining why they deserved to go to the Super Bowl. This is an interesting promotion, since the OCNN considers itself “America’s First Athlete-Driven News Network,” and the winner will have to conduct interviews only with Motorola devices.
The really smart idea behind this campaign is that the bulk of the reporting is meant to be Tweeted, posted, and updated via social media at exclusive parties with Ochocinco himself, a feat that no Super Bowl reporter can overcome without an NFL celebrity.
In its fifth consecutive year as a Super Bowl advertiser, Hyundai is going back to its roots in its ad campaign by creating five game day commercials. While Hyundai’s campaign is nothing flashy, it encompasses a variety of social platforms.
Hyundai’s advertisements feature interactive digital content that allows the campaign to extend into the social media realm. Hyundai’s Youtube channel is innovative, juxtaposing Facebook and Twitter into a real time conversation that can be seen below the video.
Pepsi plans to integrate the winner of The X Factor, Melanie Amaro, into this year’s slot. Why you ask? So that viewers can use their Shazam app on their phones to record audio and download a free video of the performance. Pepsi has already utilized Yahoo’s IntoNow, which listens to your TV and tags the content. Pepsi’s endorsement for Shazam will be a major boost for the application, which is yet to become a ‘must-have app’.
Pepsi has been busy as of late, creating both “Pepsi Max for Life” as well as “Ultimate Match Up” campaigns. The Ultimate Match Up is marketing genius; simple, engaging, and highly incentivized. All fans have to do is snap a picture of a Pepsi product and a Frito Lay’s product and upload it to the micro site for a chance to win prizes, one of which is an all expenses paid trip to the Super Bowl.
Whether Coughlin’s G-Men or Belichick’s Pat’s hoist the coveted Lombardi Trophy, the advertisers that have created smart and simple marketing campaigns will be the real champions. According to Brad Adgate, senior vice president of research at Horizon Media, the internet will be ablaze with commentary on advertisements after the game. “The social media conversation has put more value on a Super Bowl ad, fans will discuss your ads on Twitter and Facebook and then go to YouTube to watch it on demand over and over again,” Adgate said.
Just like an offensive coordinator creates plays based on their talent, these campaigns need to be tactful in how they utilize social media to draw viewer engagement and create a colorful commentary afterwards. One thing is certain; this Super Bowl and its active online following will serve as a significant turning point for Super Bowls to come.