The Super Bowl commercials have almost become more important than the game itself. And to people that don’t care about football, that is true. In fact, it seems like the Super Bowl is the one time a year that people actually watch the show JUST for the commercials, my wife being one of them. An advertising executives dream, people want to be bombarded with great ads AND they pay attention to them. Hence the reason for the ad going for a whopping $3.5 million for 30 seconds. And that does not even include the cost of paying for the celebrities, production, and other incidentals.
The trick this year is to get more than your 30 seconds of fame with the commercial. Last year, Best Buy’s commercial featured Justin Bieber and also had the ad available on the web, and for their efforts the commercial was seen more than 35 million times within a few days AFTER the Super Bowl, and they claim 1.3 billion consumer media impressions. WOW! I would say they got their money’s worth.
Millions of Americans watching the game will have at least one connected device active with them. Some will have multiple devices, like me. Think smart phones, laptops, tablets, ipads, and smart cable/TV box devices.
Beyond the normal aspect of a commercial, how can we deem a successful crossover onto the web and Social Media? From a business perspective you need to have specific goals beyond simple likes and page views, you really should have a simple call for action, if you are selling items, you need to ask/offer the close. From a consumer perspective, you need a reason beyond the simple call “visit our website/Facebook page at . . .” Consumers want to be entertained, they way value, they want surprise, and now with Social Media, they want to be ENGAGED.
A successful transition will incorporate some or all of the following strategies:
Twitter and hash tags. I think you will see a LOT more celebrities this year because of THEIR followers. More than a few of the A-List celebrities have millions of followers. Beyond the simple use of listing a hash tag on the commercial itself, what will the companies do? In fact, the Super Bowl Committee actually has an official twitter hash tag, #social46 (I like tweetchat.com). Check it out and join the conversation.
Sneak Peeks. Multiple companies have already released parts of their commercial or even the entire commercial. Beyond the buzz of seeing the commercial, how are these businesses engaging the viewer? Ferris Bueller parody “Matthew’s Day Off” is a great example. By doing it this way they are also avoiding the 30 second limitation of the Super Bowl commercial on TV. The Matthew’s Day Off actually runs 2 minutes and it is all entertaining.
Story Continuation / The Tease. GoDaddy has been using this strategy for a while. They start the story on the commercial and leave you hanging. If the story has a good cliff hanger, then you will want to see the end. Now what the company does after they capture your eye on their website or Social Media page is the real trick. And best of all for GoDaddy, they ask for the close at the end.
YouTube/Vimeo. Beyond posting a copy of the video and encouraging feedback. What will companies do with this platform? Will they solicit parodies? What about “you finish the story/video” contest? Maybe a vote for the best of the x number of commercials.
Facebook and Facebook Apps. Coca-Cola is using a Facebook application and a Sneak Peek type of strategy by asking you to RSVP to their Super Bowl party. I am pretty curious about this one. I like that they will be offering the ability to send congratulations / condolences Coke coupons. A great close and a way to capture emails.
Company Website. For this to be effective they will need either a niche landing page or even better, customize the home page for a week or so to continue the campaign. Using coupons, free trials, discounts, or some other creative technique to sell their service, item, or collect email address.
Did not even TRY. This one will be the most disappointing. And I suspect a lot of local/regional advertisers will fall into this category. For example, a local business will play a commercial and then end it with “we are on the web at . . .” and when you go to that site all you get is their regular site and no effort at all to engage the new customer. To me this is a big fail. It is better to try something and learn from it, than to not do anything. The business will be spending a lot of money; they might as well try to capture something from their potential customers.
It is difficult to determine what is considered a successful Social Media crossover. A lot of depends on what the expectations of the business are. At a minimum, the business should offer some enticement in exchange for the customers email address. Making sure to promise not to spam. The next step would be to continue the engagement/conversation well past the Super Bowl. And finally, make sure there is a call to action or a call to close/buy.
I encourage you to judge the individual commercials from your perspective, but it is also nice to see what other people are thinking of them also. Here are some a few resources to consider:
- YMarketing has a Super Bowl Social Brand Scoreboard Report.
- BlueFin (Link Died) did a nice analysis of Social Media and the debates, I am sure they will have a review of the Super Bowl.
- TechCrunch did a great write up last year.
- Tim Wilson also did a great review of last year Super Bowl ads. I look forward to his perceptions for 2012.
- I am curious to how others will be measuring the Social Media results. So if you find a good story on the measuring, please share it with us.
And if the commercials themselves are not enough Social Media, Super Bowl 46 has an official Social Media Command Center. Here are those official links:
Blog: indianapolissuperbowl.com/blog (Link Died)
Foursquare: (They will actually be monitoring multiple locations)
Keep the conversation going. What are your thoughts? Will you be ‘connected’ on Sunday? Let me know. And as a bonus, you can sign up for our newsletter (hey, you gotta mention things like this). And most of all, have a great, safe weekend.