Missed Opportunities In Super Bowl Marketing

Thirty-second commercial spots during the Super Bowl can cost a company up to $3 million. Regardless of the size of the company, that's a pretty big investment. As a marketer, you better be sure that the content of your commercial effectively utilizes the money spent. Which is why after this year's batch of commercials, I am left a little baffled -- what's with all the missed opportunities? Where were the commercials that drove web interaction?

After the market crashed a few years ago, marketers went back to basics in terms of Super Bowl commercial components. Since then, however, the economy has been on the way up, and commercial complexities have reflected this. In the evolution of things, there was an expectation that this year's commercials would be geared toward the web and social media. However, that certainly was not the case.

In my article last month, I discussed the reasons why marketers should invest in Super Bowl commercial advertising, especially those looking to hit the teen market. At any given moment, 110 million Americans are tuned into the Super Bowl, and you better believe many of them are teens. As Tor Myhren, chief creative officer of Grey, New York, points out in a recent interview, there are three major reasons to advertise during the Super Bowl: the Pregame Buzz, the Game Time chit-chat, and the Post-Game Echo.



But why is it so important to include the web and social media in these commercials? Let's look at each of Myhren's points to understand.

1. The Pregame Buzz

As he mentions, "You're not just buying 30 seconds; you're buying two weeks of pregame hype as well. And amid all this media madness, the advertisers get as much attention as the football players. The PR and buzz is unparalleled. Late-night and morning show hosts, news anchors, magazine and newspaper writers, bloggers, and tweeters are all talking about what to expect." And guess which audience group is exposed to these posts and comments on social media sites more than any other? Teens. Teens are huge users of social media sites, and they frequently access them via their cell phones, which never leave their hands. So, within seconds of seeing a commercial providing a link to the web, teens can sign on and begin to learn more about the brand.

2. Game Time

Game Time is Real Time. The Super Bowl is one of the last events that is watched by everyone when it is live. This means that everyone sees the same commercials at the same time, too. And what do teens love to do more than anything else? That's right, gossip. And the easiest way to get real time gossip out to the widest audience is through the use of social media. Status updates on Facebook help people understand their friends and the people around them -- how they're feeling, what they're doing and what they're thinking. People on Facebook are sharing hundreds of millions of words every day, thousands per second, in status updates. And during the Super Bowl, when there are so many commercials to react to and discuss, teens go crazy with their posts and tweets. How perfect would it be if they could tie these posts to a brands Facebook page or website?

3. Postgame Echo

"Postgame is where digital takes over, exponentially increasing the value of a Super Bowl ad with each additional view, comment, blog posting and Twitter comment," Myhren states. The rapid spread of information -- a gift from the Internet -- can be about your ad!. Teen sites on the web can pick up content, and teens can then distribute it back over YouTube, Hulu, Facebook, Twitter, and hundreds of other sites. Bloggers blog about it and news broadcaster discuss it on their shows and sites. And guess what? After the initial cost of the commercial, this type of chatter is completely free. But of course for this to happen, brands need to provide information about their sites, pages, etc. Chatter will die down quickly, but the use of pages for contests and information will last for months and years after the commercial is played.

When it comes down to it -- marketers dropped the (foot)ball a bit this year. Marketers are normally strategic and agile, using whatever they can to build off of their Super Bowl commercials and engage the audience, but this year marketers were plain and lacked inclusivity. Why they left out the obvious drives to the web this year, we'll never know. Maybe next year.

2 comments about "Missed Opportunities In Super Bowl Marketing ".
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  1. Aarona Jordan from Channel One/Alloy, February 17, 2011 at 1:11 p.m.

    The real SUPER BOWL of Teen reach is CHANNEL ONE News- our Nielsen measured 16.7 P12-17 rating is 100% your audience and they are not looking at your commercials to merely make fun of them between bad music acts.

  2. Bob Loblaw, February 17, 2011 at 3:45 p.m.

    Anyone catch Troy Aikman's ad?

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