The Super Bowl has always been a social event, but during this year’s battle pitting the New York Giants against the New England Patriots, getting social will happen on screens and the sofa.
According to MSN, analysts say this year is a turning point for social media’s incorporation into the biggest mass-media event of the year, and advertisers are taking note.
According to executives from Comcast Corp’s NBC television network, which will broadcast the February 5 football game, a 30-second commercial slot cost $3.5 million on average this year, up from $3 million for last year’s Super Bowl, which was on News Corp’s Fox station.
“The trend in social media with the Super Bowl has been building over the past two or three years,” said Tim Calkins, professor of marketing at Northwestern University.
“This year, we’re really seeing it go to a totally new level where marketers are making social networking a core part of their Super Bowl efforts.”
“The social media conversation has put more value on a Super Bowl ad, fans will discuss your ads on Twitter and Facebook and then go to YouTube to watch it on demand over and over again,” said Brad Adgate, senior vice president of research at Horizon Media, Reuters reports.
Coca-Cola’s TV commercials, which will air during the first-and second-quarter breaks, will center around its computer-generated Arctic polar bears watching the game.
The bears will then be brought to life on Twitter, Facebook and on a dedicated Website doing such things as responding to fans and commenting on the game. They will even have their own Twitter hashtag –#GameDayPolarBears — for fans to follow.
“We wanted to interact with consumers in the most simple and organic way so they would have nothing to do other than what they usually do,” said Pio Schunker, Coca Cola senior vice president of integrated marketing platforms.
Last year, 111 million people watched the Super Bowl, according to Nielsen Companies, making it the most-watched TV event ever, and breaking the audience record set the year before by the 2010 Super Bowl.
Advertisers pay heavily for the privilege of reaching all those eyeballs, to the tune of $3.5 million for a 30-second slot.
Fans who catch Pepsi’s commercial with “X Factor USA” winner Melanie Amaro performing the Otis Redding song “Respect” will be able to download a free video of the performance by using the Shazam app on their phones to capture audio from the commercial.
“Our philosophy now is nothing happens in isolation,” said Shiv Singh, global head of digital for Pepsico Beverages. “Social TV is a massive phenomenon and a critical element of our Super Bowl campaigns.”
Volkswagen’s Audi is hoping to win more creative kudos with a spot that taps into the “Twilight” teen vampire pop culture phenomenon.
The 60-second spot, which will air during the first break in the game, will highlight the new 2013 Audi S7 and its LED headlight technology, which has unfortunate consequences for a party of young vampires.
Audi hopes to continue the conversation about the ad via the Twitter hashtag #SoLongVampires.
Chrysler Group LLC, Toyota Motor Co, Honda Motor Co Ltd, Hyundai Motor Co, and other automakers will also be advertising during the game.
The National Football League had been a major television event ever since the 1958 NFL Championship Game.
The success of the American Football League and its rivalry and eventual merger with the NFL generated significant publicity for what was originally known as the “World Championship Game;” the game became known colloquially as the Supergame prior to the first installment a term that eventually evolved into the “Super Bowl.”
Because of the large audiences watching the broadcast, the networks have stringent Standards and Practices regarding what content is allowed on a Super Bowl commercial.
As always, networks have the right to reject or request a modification to any commercial. All forms of political advertising and most direct forms of issue-related advertising are banned, due to equal-time rules.
A classic hard-sell Super Bowl commercial from 1974 was for Milwaukee-based Master Lock. It involved a sharpshooter firing “a high-powered rifle . . . from a distance of 40 yards” and putting a hole in the center of one of the company’s locks. The lock “sustained considerable damage” but did not open. Like a Timex watch, it took a licking and kept on ticking, according to JS Online.
The average price of Super Bowl ads have risen more than 50 percent in the last 10 years, defying economic downturns and secular industry issues. NBC sold out all 70 spots around this year’s game shortly after Thanksgiving weekend in November and reached a new high with one slot selling for around $4 million.