This year’s Super Bowl will mark several digital firsts. Not only will the game itself be streamed online for the first time, but advertisers will be looking to social media and digital technology more than ever before to generate anticipation for their spots during the game and even in the days preceding it. Brands are now looking for other mediums to complement their TV spots. Phones, tablets, and laptops will be playing an unprecedented role in Sunday’s game, which follows the most-watched Super Bowl in history, XLV, which drew 111 million viewers.
With commercials having sold out in November at a pricey $3.5 million per 30-second spot, a steep increase of half-a-million dollars from last year, marketers are looking to get the most value for their brands by promoting their ads ahead of time.
M&M’s (a BBDO client) has announced the unveiling of a much-anticipated brown candy spokesperson. It seems that users’ reactions will be gauged in a large part by social media—Ms. Brown has a Twitter account already boasting nearly 2,000 followers and features prominently on the candy’s Facebook page. USA Today is hosting a Facebook contest in which users will be able to vote for their favorite ads and spots from 2012 and the past couple of years will also be available for viewing on YouTube’s Ad Blitz page, into which sponsors have put an incredible amount of money this year.
The modern football fan can post his reactions to the game and commercials simultaneously while watching. Besides airing frustrations or celebrating on Twitter and Facebook, fans can check on stats and other fans’ comments on apps from NFL, ESPN, and from the teams themselves.
Nielsen reports that about every two out of three tablet and smartphone users divide their attention between their handhelds and their TVs while watching programming. Some brands are hoping to bank on this opportunity as well, either integrating into third party “second screen” apps or creating their own apps to compliment their Super Bowl commercials. Examples of these “second screen” or social TV mobile apps that will likely get a spike in usage during the game include Shazam, GetGlue, Yahoo!’s IntoNow and Miso.
Super Bowl ads have traditionally been surrounded by some degree of mystery to generate anticipation and while many brands are keeping this air of secrecy intact, some are experimenting with building buzz via early digital release of their ads and facilitating digital dialogue during the game as well.