This is a post written by Craig Robinson, an online writer from Qwaya – a facebook ad campaign tool. Besides writing for Qwaya, Craig takes part in watching and following trends within Social Media and social context.
The numbers are in – this year’s Super Bowl was the biggest in history. Despite a CBS glitch that affected millions of people, turning on-screen players into real-life superheroes with a red blur trailing them, it was still a hit. And even with a blackout that seemed to last forever, the viewers were still tuned in. Even despite Beyonce making the ugliest face in the history of halftime shows, the entire thing was a smashing success.
While the success is good for the league, it’s also good for social media. In fact, it seems fairly certain that social media is mostly responsible for the game being such a big hit. The Ravens and 49ers? They’re not exactly the Patriots and Packers. So something else was going on to bring such exposure to the game. What was it?
Social Media’s Planned Impact on the Super Bowl
Long before kickoff, it was already evident that this year’s Super Bowl was going to be all about social media. The interaction on sites like Facebook and Twitter gave brands and fans a new way to communicate. With most Super Bowls, a fan sees a commercial as it airs. But with social media there to keep everyone engaged, fans got to view snippets of ads before they aired, and some brands even allowed fans to dictate the advertisements.
It’s a long list here. Let’s run over some of the notables:
- Doritos: They held a contest in which the winner actually got to create the brand’s Super Bowl ad.
- Pizza Hut: They also held a contest, allowing the winner to actually star in the TV ad.
- Coca-Cola: Coke pulled a new version of an old DVD “alternate ending” trick with their ad, allowing people to pick how it would end.
- Audi: This luxury car brand gave users ad options and let their audience select which ad would ultimately air.
- Budweiser: The King of Beers allowed consumers to name a Clydesdale – the iconic large, white-footed horse featured in their commercials.
- Pepsi: Holding a Facebook-specific contest, Pepsi held a picture submission contest. The winners received “party kits,” and 400 fan photos were used in an advertisement.
The list goes on and on here, displaying different ways by which social media interaction shaped advertising on the biggest TV night in American sport. Advertising with social media was a winning formula.
The networks cleaned up with Super Bowl ads, and social media sites also made a lot of money from the advertising, but brands using social media to their advantage also made out in a big way.
Social media interaction created so much buzz surrounding the Super Bowl that viewers who may not have necessarily ever watched a football game tuned in to see the highly publicized ads and halftime show. Social media isn’t wholly responsible, but these social sites certainly played a huge role in the game’s overall success.
Lessons You Can Take from Super Bowl XVLII and Social Media
Okay, grumpy. So maybe not everyone can afford the incredibly high $3.5 million price tag of a Super Bowl ad, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use some lessons here to boost your own advertising.
Start Holding Contests!
Need an idea for a new ad or promotion? How about holding a contest wherein you’ll give the lucky winner a chance to design something for you or to add their ideas in some meaningful way? This not only draws people in who are directly interested in the contest, but it also spreads out through sharing to reveal that you’re a popular, social brand allowing fans to shape how you do business.
Take Advantage of Situations
During the blackout in the Super Bowl, Tide and Oreo seized the opportunity by creating social media ads. Oreo reminded people that “you can still dunk in the dark,” while Tide was sure to insist that they “can’t get the blackout” but could “get the stains out.” This is something you can learn from. Seizing the situation instead of allowing the situation to dictate your advertising can pose a great opportunity for you to release a creative social ad.
Your brand might not be able to compete with the big boys, but there are still quite a few things you can learn from their advertising methods which will come in handy for you. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.