Bring the brand orgy that is
the Super Bowl to the ad capital of the world and sparks are going to fly.
Typifying this chemistry, Verizon and the NFL are using the Empire State Building -- and the occasion of the
big game -- to execute one of the most visible social-meets-digital-out-of-home campaigns ever.
All week, Verizon is using its Twitter account, @VerizonWireless, to ask fans
football-related questions using the hashtag #WhosGonnaWin.
The phone carrier is using their responses, and accompanying game predictions, to determine what colors will light up New
York City’s most iconic beacon nightly: the Denver Broncos’ orange, blue, and white, or the Seattle Seahawks’ green, blue and silver.
This week, social-media experts
applauded the effort. “I think it's fairly unique in a time where every brand is jockeying for notice on the biggest 'ad' day of the year,” said Scott Stratten, president of
“Everyone will be trying to be the next Oreo during the Super Bowl, [so] this is a good way of getting the chatter, especially before,” he added.
To make sense of fans’ Twitter activity, Verizon is relying on Twitter sentiment analysis expert professor Mike Thelwall and a team of MIT graduates, who specialize in linguistic
analysis and data visualization.
The effort also requires the expertise of the Empire State Building’s lighting designer Marc Brickman to bring the colors of the two Super Bowl
XLVIII teams to life.
Also lending a hand -- by flipping the light switch every night -- are NFL stars Drew Brees and Matt Forte, along with NFL Hall of Famers Barry Sanders, Marshall
Faulk and Curtis Martin.
Beginning at 6 p.m. every night this week, a light show is celebrating the colors of all 32 NFL teams. Then, just before 7, the results portion of the show --
set to music provided by NFL Films -- takes over.
For those without a clear view of the Empire State Building, Verizon is also live-streaming the nightly event at WhosGonnaWin.com and
on NFL Mobile.
On Super Bowl Sunday, the landmark’s lights will be synchronized to the game’s activities. The national anthem will be accompanied by a red, white and blue
light show, while the fans' latest predictions will be projected during halftime.
Finally, a light show will celebrate the Super Bowl XLVIII champions at the end of the game and
continue through the following day.