Super Bowl Ads 2012: Social Media Fumble?

On Wednesday, I gave my view on Trends & Observations of this year’s Super Bowl advertisements. Today, I’ll cover what role Social Media played, if at all, in the 69 spots which ran from kickoff to the final whistle of Super Bowl XLVI.

In my blog prior to the Super Bowl, I wondered if advertiser’s would use Social Media to turn branding (traditionally national ads) to call-to-action (traditionally local ads). As I watched each advertisement, this is what I found:

  • Out of the 69 spots, I noticed 24 (34.7%) listed their website or facebook page
  • Only 2 (2.8%) listed their Twitter hash mark

To be fair, another source, Altimeter, reports 57% of the ads mentioned a website – although I’m not exactly sure what timeframe of ads they reviewed.

The lack of Twitter love makes sense, as it doesn’t make as big an impact as a company’s robust website. I’m not against Twitter (you can follow me here) and it can be an excellent tool in creating buzz but, if one is spending $3-4M per 30 seconds, you are looking for the biggest impact you can make. Ideally, your company site should be convincingly telling your story and capturing leads or producing sales.

Which brings me to listing your website and/or facebook page. Unless you feel you can get everything you want to say in 30, 60 seconds (or, in Chrysler’s case, 2 minutes), I would suggest directing viewers to where they can get more of the story. More importantly, I would give viewers a reason why to get more of the story.

The seven Dot Com advertisers (Hulu, Go Daddy, Tax Act, Teleflora, Cars, E-Trade and CareerBuilder) made sure to tell their audience where to go (in a nice way). However, only Go Daddy offered more than their product for reasons to visit their site (sex appeal, even though many I interviewed found it tacky). I struggle to recall any commercial other than Go Daddy that said, “To see the rest of the story, visit…” As a Guerrilla Marketer, this seems elementary.

However, this doesn’t mean fans didn’t check out advertiser’s sites. According to Yottaa, a company who monitored 46 Superbowl Ad websites to see which one would experience downtime or significant slowdowns, there was plenty of activity.

Unfortunately, a few sites (like Acura and Coca-Cola), couldn’t handle the traffic and crashed. The ability to be added to the Acura NSX waiting list was down? Ouch! Talk about missed opportunity!

In an article on Wednesday, USA Today not only post who the winner was of their first-ever online Super Bowl Ad Meter, but various facts about how social media was involved. One staggering report from Bluefin, a social TV analytics company, offered this year’s Super Bowl commercials generated upwards of 985,000 social-media comments – more than the entire 2011 Academy Awards. So, while many people were chatting with their friends they were watching the commercials, er, I mean, game with… many were also using their devices to talk to their away friends.

As any good Guerrilla Marketer wants to know, what did all this mean to the companies shelling out all those huge ad dollars? Time will tell but, early reports are already coming in. GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons shared, “This year, our two Super Bowl ads broke all prior sales records.” He also claimed their commercial featuring a QR code produced the “best mobile website traffic … ever.”

So, it seems call-to-action through Social Media, whether it is done in a tasteful or tacky way, may be a tactic we start seeing more in national ads. It is, after all, about ROI – return on investment.

This Friday, I’ll look at which Super Bowl strategies I felt worked and which didn’t hit the mark.

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Your Guerrilla Marketer,
Rick Verbanas


2 thoughts on “Super Bowl Ads 2012: Social Media Fumble?

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