The Super Bowl has a long standing reputation of delivering electrifying TV ads. Companies put most, if not all, of their eggs in a hundred million dollar basket with an ad hoping to catch the eye and mind of the gazillion people watching.
For better or worse, the programming in between the time-outs overshadows much of the actual game.
But advertising takes on many forms these days and advertisers are wising up this year with a more concentrated effort to combine the heralded television ads with social media marketing.
- The very first ad to be shown during the game will come from Audi, which has plans to add a hashtag during the ad so people can discuss the ad on Twitter.
- Budweiser is doing an interactive ad campaign on Facebook which will allow fans of the page to guess the plots to three ads. After those plots are successfully decoded, a fourth ad will be “unlocked”.
- Mercedes Benz is hosting a “Tweet Race” in which teams in Mercedes vehicles race to Super Bowl host Dallas, Texas while powered by user tweets (I’m curious to see how that works out).
- Plus, a host of companies are previewing ads online through social media sites as a way to generate buzz for the full spot.
The goal is obviously to keep viewers interested for the 30 or 60 seconds allotted by the TV ad, but also well past that. Before, you could throw up a link to the web site and hope people will visit and find it all interesting.
But now, there is a chance for viewers to jump right into a discussion via a website they are most likely already visiting. Seriously, just wait and see how many Bowl-related updates and tweets bombard your feed that day.
A study from Lightspeed determined that a third of viewers with smartphones plan to post on social media sites throughout the game. So there won’t be a shortage of people to reach.
Advertisers are well-aware of the opportunities available. All that’s left is to produce an ad worth talking about. Either way, we’ll be watching.