Digipropolis Blog: Marketing Pros & Their Cons

SuperBowl Ad Film Fest – Where’s the Social?


A week ago the marketing world leaned forward on its collective chair to watch the annual commercial film festival known as the SuperBowl Ads. Immediately chewing on each ad, the majority opinion was that this year’s ads fell down in one particular way: they did not make creative use of social media to market sponsors’ products. And with a $3 million per spot price tag, this was an expensive opportunity lost.

To be sure, there were ads that concluded with a Facebook or Twitter address and an invitation to join or follow. But this is the same level of social media marketing interaction that we have grown accustomed to seeing in day-to-day advertising.

The Results of SuperBowl XLV: Packers Win, No Trophy for Social Media  

 LBI Atlanta tracked social mentions of advertisers using the Sysomos social media tracking tool. It reported social mentions for advertised brands before the SuperBowl, during the SuperBowl, and then continued to monitor the level of conversation (both volume and sentiment) after the game for 7 days following the game.

It found that social media conversation reached a high of 7 index points during the game, and then conversation dropped each day following the SuperBowl, dropped until it reached pre-campaign levels on the 7th day after the game.

super_bowl_xliv_logoThis happened, LBI Atlanta contended, because brands “missed a golden opportunity” to “extend the conversation” by using social media in an interactive way. Brands should have invited customers to create their own content around the ad, LBI Atlanta admonished. They should have incorporated their costly ads into a live event disseminated by social media (think: flash mob).

The kicker? LBI Atlanta wrote this a full year ago, in February 2010. For me, this could have been written this week, since it holds as true of this year’s ads as last year’s.

Proposing the Creative Use of Real-Time Interactivity:

doritos_live_eventAt the risk of cheapening a popular democratic movement, I have to admit that I have personally have drawn some social media marketing inspiration from the Egyptian demonstration – now revolution – that mobilized people of many geographic regions, age groups, and social classes.

I would love to see a social media ad campaign that gets people to stand up and DO something in real time. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Using the foil of a contest, creative advertisers could have encouraged GAME TIME activity, using social media before the event as well as during the event.

As we know from last week’s television ratings, 111 million people watched the SuperBowl live last week. One or two percent participation in a live contest would mean 1-2 million people engaging with a brand as part of their live SuperBowl experience. Imagine that?! A movement of fans that large could be equally exciting for brands, fans, and the news media covering the big show. In fact, a successful campaign would have as much public relations value as it does advertising value.  

Proposing Social Media Impact Measurement:

Making the best of the opportunity to go between the immeasurable impact of high viewership broadcast television and the very measurable use of social media, consumer brands could measure the social media impact of television ads in the following sorts of ways:

  • The brand could measure participation through the number of tweets or Facebook posts featuring a photo of people eating and drinking brand products during the SuperBowl.
  • The brand could measure participation through the number of videos uploaded to Facebook and tagged with the brand name, and uploads to YouTube
  • The brand could measure participation through the number of phone calls to an interactive party line it establishes to serve each DMA.


More Reading about Social Media and the SuperBowl:

Crain, R. (February 9, 2011). Why Many Super Bowl Ads Failed to Score. [Ad Age Blog] Retrieved February 11, 2011, from http://adage.com/columns/article?article_id=148771

Little Bits of Insight Atlanta. (February 17, 2010). Super Bowl advertisers missed an opportunity to extend the value of their ads into the digital space. [LBI Atlanta Blog] Retrieved February 13, 2011, from http://lbiatlanta.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/super-bowl-advertisers-missed-an-opportunity-to-extend-the-value-of-their-ads-into-the-digital-space/

Schafer, I. (February 8, 2011). The Super Bowl of Social Media? Maybe Next Year. [Ad Age blog] Retrieved February 11, 2011, from http://adage.com/digitalnext/post?article_id=148750


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: