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I Only Watch It for the Ads

Previously, we looked at how people really felt about the Superbowl and what the top social stats for the game were. Now we dive into the money behind it all: the advertisements.

Everyone knows someone, or even a few people, who say “I only watch the Super Bowl for the ads”.  Two percent of all social media posts about the Super Bowl were people saying that they only watch for the commercials – were you one of them?

Well, if you are one of the thousands that tune in for the commercials, you are in good and very social company – this year roughly 11% of all social media conversations made during the Super Bowl were about the ads.  One commentator even called this “the most democratic” Super Bowl, referring to the many advertisers offering the social public the chance to participate in contests and polls to decide the outcome of their campaigns and the ability to share in the unique hashtags created to build community around Clydesdales, kisses, cars and more.

This year’s Super Bowl even had its own guest star – the power outage seen round the world–that created a unique and dynamic opportunity for advertisers and brands to engage the social community.  The #poweroutage allowed brands to capitalize on the darkness and add their own voice at a fraction of the price.  Audi generated over 9,000 retweets on their twitter account with a tweet about sending LEDs over to Mercedes Benz stadium.  Walgreens got over 3,000 retweets of their “We sell candles” tweet. Oreo’s tweet, “Power out? No problem” with a link to their “you can still dunk in the dark” photo? That pulled in more than 14,000 retweets!

Oreo capitalizes on the blackout

This advertising version of a “photo bomb” by these companies shows that this was in fact “the most democratic” Super Bowl –everyone got to play.  This phenomenon will likely change advertising approaches moving forward – even brands without a formal presence will open up their own “command centers” to look for opportunities to participate and engage with their public.  The type of outreach these advertisers did was timely, fun, relevant and focused – so much of what makes social engagement successful.

We will see this approach continue to take hold with brands approaching event marketing in a new way – utilizing teams watching events and monitoring social channels to identify opportunities for inserting themselves into the conversation in a fun and timely way aligning their brand with fans and spectators in a more grassroots way than ever before.  Traditional advertising won’t go away – as we know, thousands of people watch “just for the ads” but now, when we want to watch the ads, we are all going to have to get our phones out because the real advertising may be just a Tweet away.

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