“The Social Media Superbowl” (Response Marketing Blog)

This past weekend marked the end of the NFL season, and sports fans far and wide plopped on the couch to overindulge in chicken wings and nacho cheese until the button on their pants flew off. This weekend’s passing marked yet another Super Bowl that sent fans into a frenzy. However, sports fanatics weren’t the only ones that were preparing for the Sunday showdown.

Across the map, numerous companies geared up for perhaps the single largest advertising opportunity of the year. Super Bowl Sunday has surely seen some truly memorable games in the past, but perhaps even more celebrated are the mid-game advertisements. Who could forget such classics as Budweiser’s brand-chanting frogs, “Bud,” “Weis,” and “Er,” from 1995’s Super Bowl XXIX? These commercials have definitely been known to leave their lasting impression on the American pop-culture audience stream. However, in the age of web 2.0, a catchy television spot and some humorous mascots does not equal a complete campaign. The big-game advertisers have now turned completely social.

This year, the Super Bowl advertisements reached beyond their television spots to entice even more audience involvement. With this year’s game-day ads sporting a price tag of around $2.5-$2.8 Million dollars for thirty seconds of air time, companies are now looking for a more involved call-to-action than a simple “buy my product.” Many big-name brands invoked various social media campaigns to supplement these expensive television spots and create a heavier brand involvement than a good laugh or a raised eyebrow during a break in the game.

This year, Audi provided a custom hashtag for Twitter during their ad so that friends may start an online discussion about the company’s new commercial. Competing car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz also utilized Twitter, taking the use of hashtags to a whole new level. The company hosted a “tweet race,” where four teams raced to Dallas and fueled by the number of tweets and “likes” their team received. The winner drove away in a brand new C-Class Coupe. Not too shabby.

Companies also used the commercials themselves as part of the online conversation. For example, Pepsi posted five consumer-created advertisements and put them up for a vote online. Budweiser also incorporated user interaction in their campaign by revealing small clues to the plot of their new advertisements on Facebook prior to their debut on Sunday.

Communication between consumer and company is no longer a black-and-white, routine aspect of daily business. Through these two-way campaigns, businesses are now able to make watching commercials and providing feedback into a fun part of the interaction process. This Super Bowl Sunday, consumers far and wide entered the new conversation staged on the biggest stage of the year. Have you?

View on the Response Marketing Blog 2/8/11

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