Thursday, January 10, 2013

Social Media Prepares for Super Bowl XLVII

Last week I got a permission-based email from Toyota inviting me to submit a “road trip” picture and have a chance to appear in their 2013 Super Bowl ad. No, thanks, Toyota, but good job tying it in with your current ad theme, “Let’s Go Places.” I had forgotten the theme, so I had to check. What I found was a PPC ad promoting the contest on the SERP page and a vibrant website where it was hard to escape the content. There’s still time if you want to enter!

The email reminded me to check on how purchasers of those $4 million Super Bowl spots are integrating them with their social media. Leveraging the expensive ads in other channels isn’t new but social media is the ultimate manifestation of leverage. As you can see from Toyota, it gets the conversation going early. I think the key question is how much value it creates for the consumer.

The most interesting list of Super Bowl commercials I found was on The Business, which appears to be updated regularly if you want to follow the hype. With input from the list on Ad Age and a delightfully edgy site for geeks who like ads, here’s what I found:

• Pepsi is also soliciting photos of consumers, in this case engaging in “movements” I don’t yet get the point, but it ties in with the half-time show, headlined by Pepsi’s “global brand ambassador” Beyoncé.

• Doritos is repeating its ‘best ad’ contest. It was heavily promoted; every site I visited for research displayed a PPC ad for inviting viewers to submit a video. The finalists are up now and awaiting your vote. When I checked the page, it encouraged me to “Share the Word.” By the way, it’s all being done on Facebook, not a website as in the past.
• Axe says they have big news “taking our interaction with our fans to new heights” that will be announced on the Super Bowl. The brand is well known for edgy ads, but I can’t find any hints of what the big news is.

• The most innovative social media use so far is the newly-rebranded Lincoln Motor Co.’s twitter-based ad. Tweets about wacky road trips were solicited by Lincoln spokesperson Jimmy Fallon and three were selected to be “animated” for the commercial.  It’s an attempt  by the brand to appeal to a younger demographic.

• Also creative is Pizza Hut’s just-announced contest for a pre-game ad. Here’s how USA Today describes it:  “The pizza giant is asking football fans to submit very short videos of their best, silliest or most creative recitation of the words every quarterback shouts — and which Pizza Hut says is the heart of its name: "Hut. Hut. Hut." In other words, simulate the start of a football play, but with creative zeal.” Ok, if they say so!

There are other ‘usual suspects’ like Coke that usually integrate social media into their Super Bowl campaign plan. I checked Coke’s Facebook page and website but didn’t find any hints. Keep an eye on breaking news; I‘m sure there will be other social media aspects announced.

But I can’t end this without my so-far-favorite ad, even though it’s not social media. I just can’t get past the thought of Kim Kardashian being replaced by a bull dog—Mark Cuban’s racing bull dog at that! Go Mr. Quiggly—and continue to follow the Super Bowl of Advertising!

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