• Advertisers looking to find the right recipe for success with their Super Bowl ads should take a lesson from the playbook of social media marketing that occurred during the 2013 Super Bowl. This year’s big game commercials will be the benchmark. Moving forward, incorporating social media mentions into the ads, campaign strategies and maintaining a live presence during large events will become the norm.

    This year, more than half of the Super Bowl commercials mentioned or incorporated social media into their ads in some way. At least half of the commercials mentioned Twitter and included a hashtag to encourage further engagement. A few mentioned their Facebook channel, and YouTube and Instagram each had one mention. Social media really helps the brands stretch the potential and make the most of the average of $4 million spent on 30 seconds of the Super Bowl commercials between posting either the full commercials or teaser spots on YouTube before the game actually airs to running contests and voting online after the commercials premier on game day. This adds life to the commercial and increases the consumer engagement with the brand or product. The dominance of Twitter in the social media mentions of the Super Bowl ads represents the growing connection between television viewers and Twitter users. According to SocialGuide, there were around 26.1 million Super Bowl-related tweets generated during the game by 5.28 million unique Twitter users.

    For brands, it should now be obvious that just including social media in your advertisement is not the end of the story, it is the beginning. Social media managers, and likely the entire executive marketing team for brands should be on hand during events like the Super Bowl to take advantage of advertising opportunities and engage with the viewers that are using social media to interact with the company. The infamous blackout in the Superdome may not have been good news for the game, the NFL, or New Orleans, but it certainly ended up great news for companies that took advantage of it on Twitter. Enter Oreo, with their tweet that will go down in history as one of the smartest social media moves ever. A simple 4 word tweet with a brilliantly crafted image garnered a huge social media windfall.

    As you can see from the image, Oreo’s blackout tweet received almost 16,000 retweets and almost 6,000 favorites. It was an amazing compliment to their Super Bowl ad, which also received a large amount of attention with their Instagram tie in, asking viewers to vote via the online image service for their favorite part of the cookie along with the #CookieThis and #CreamThis hashtag campaign. Oreo wasn’t the only company to capitalize on the idle time during the blackout.

    Twitter announced that it only took 4 minutes for advertisers to start bidding on the term “power outage”. Other companies capitalized on the opportunity as well. Tide tweeted “We can’t get your #blackout, but we can get your stains out.” Audi decided to take a stab at competitor and fellow Super Bowl commercial advertiser Mercedes Benz USA, since they hold the title sponsor of the Superdome arena where the Super Bowl was held and tweeted, “Sending some LEDs to @MBUSA Superdome right now.” Walgreens found that even though they did not have a Super Bowl commercial that they could also gain some attention from the situation with some quick thinking and took to Twitter with “We do carry candles. #SuperBowl” followed by “. . . we also sell lights. #SuperBowl”. With these news making events that stole the thunder from the actual news event, social media will never be the same again.

    The Super Bowl is the only time of the year that television viewers show interest in commercials, not only taking the time to watch them during the big game, but actually looking forward to seeing what the latest commercial will be. They search them out ahead of time and after they have aired, watch them again and vote for their favorite. This is a complete contrast to the rest of the year when TV viewers will do everything possible to avoid commercials, so if the brands do not take advantage of this, consider their $4 million wasted.

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