Thinking Social / Value

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Super Bowl: Big Game, Big Risks

Fun fact – for what it would cost you for a 30 second Super Bowl spot, you can have a homepage takeover of AOL for 8 days straight. (Digiday)

Super Bowl Sunday is, well, the Super Bowl for advertisers.  It’s the one day of the year when all stops are pulled out, no expense spared, and the very best your brand has to offer is put on the grand stage.  With a hefty price tag, is it worth it?

There are a few brands that are going big this year. Here’s a quick glimpse into some of the campaigns that catch my eye with social media marketing insight.

1. Hold out to the very last minute. For the 7th year in a row, Doritos is holding a talent search for the best fan made video which will then become their Super Bowl spot.  To add a social element, voting is taking place through a Facebook app.  With voting already closed, the promotion lacks the element of a photo finish as to which spot makes it.  Having voting up until the minute the spot actually airs would have kept people glued to promotion, but overall a great campaign.

2. Personalization and integration across all platforms is key. Coke is going with a more character-based story.  Offering fans the chance to vote between three different groups of characters, the winning stable will get their spot aired during the game.  Coke smartly offered the chance to get to know these characters through supporting content before fans make their decision.  The coupon voting incentive certainly helps as well.

3. Gamify the experience. With only one major superhero release this year (Iron Man 3, which surprisingly is only doing a trailer), Star Trek Into Darkness has the chance to steal some of the spotlight.  Adding a gameified social experience, fans are encouraged to scan Star Trek media with an app to gain unlockables like clips and photos from the movie.  Of course, some of this scannable media will be the trailer during the game.  The app launched yesterday, so we’ll see if it was enough time to build a base before leveraging the Super Bowl.

4. Crowdsource your content. Lincoln is partnering with Jimmy Fallon this year to crowdsource a commercial script from Twitter.  “Steer The Script” is a success, in my opinion, because it puts the power in the hands of the fans, but also leverages Jimmy Fallon, who is a known champion of Twitter and never shies away from product endorsement.  It’s also nice to see Emmett Smith again.

5. Celebritize your users, highlight their content, and be simple and organized about it. Going a different route, Pepsi is taking advantage of hashtags and Twitter to gather photos for a montage before the halftime show.  Nice move going for a partnership instead of a spot, but what about Instagram?

Overall, the Super Bowl is still the Big Show for advertisers.  But as the world becomes more social and participatory, will it remain that way?