Super Bowl Social Media: A Touchdown Pass for National Brands

February 1st, 2013 by Search Influence Alumni

Super Bowl advertising spots are one of the most sought after 30 seconds in television each year. With the event having an estimated viewership of well over 110 million, many national companies view the hefty $4 million dollar price tag as money well spent. In fact, the New York Times reported that the ad spots were already sold out on January 8th, almost a full month before the big event. In recent years many companies have amped up their traditional television campaigns to include YouTube sneak peeks, dedicated websites, hashtags, Facebook campaigns, and apps designed to garner appeal and catch their audience’s attention on the second screen. Social media is a growing factor in many major corporation’s 2013 Super Bowl advertising campaigns, which is a huge change from the surprise element and secretive campaigns of years past.

The YouTube teaser video is a popular move by many major national brands. This year, one of the most viral involves model Kate Upton “washing” a Mercedes-Benz, a clip that has already been viewed by over 5 million people. The video directs the audience to the Mercedes USA Facebook page, where more teaser clips of their Super Bowl promo are linked. This method of social integration leads to viewers interacting with the brand on several different forms of media, all well before the Super Bowl kickoff, and creates a great deal of buzz for the 30 second ad spot.

Coca-Cola was the first brand to launch their Super Bowl campaign this year, which features a gamified “choose your own ending” storyline that asks viewers to vote on the official Super Bowl commercial. Like the Mercedes campaign, Coke has also expanded the storyline on their Facebook page. With polls, character bios, additional video clips and more posted on their Timeline, Coca-Cola also seeks to engage with their audience in an unpaid, organic manner. The use of polls and competition between the three video endings adds an additional level of interaction and has fans gunning for their favorites.

Other companies have taken a social approach to the entire advertising process. Popular deodorant company Speed Stick ran a contest through its Twitter profile with the hashtag #handleit to solicit pitches for its very first Super Bowl spot. The winning tweets are all already up on Tongal and lead to a funny and viral campaign for an everyday product. They’ve tied the campaign in to their Youtube Channel, which features dozens of “Handle It” moments. It’s definitely a nontraditional move to release a full Super Bowl ad ahead of the big weekend, but it works for Speed Stick’s entirely social campaign.

Major corporations’ Super Bowl social media campaigns extend their advertising buzz well beyond the big game. By harnessing organic user interest on multiple channels, the expense of a 30 second ad spot seems almost worth it. Do you like the modern trend of brands releasing their Super Bowl commercials ahead of the big game? Let us know in the comments!