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2012: The Year Super Bowl Advertisers Truly Embrace Digital

For decades, the Super Bowl (6:30pm ET, NBC) has been the highlight of any traditional marketer’s year. Many of the classic ad campaigns of years gone by came out of some enormously high priced Super Bowl advertising buys aimed at getting a product in front of the game’s tens or hundreds of millions of viewers. It could even be said that a certain segment of the viewing public are more interested in the advertising during the game than the actual play on the field. Yes, Super Bowl TV advertising is still cool and creative, but this year, many marketers are looking forward to seeing how brands use Big Game creativity in a different realm- digital. Over the past few years, we have seen more and more digital campaigns surrounding the game, many of which have been actually related to the TV ads. In fact, last year, you were able to view and vote for your favorite Super Bowl ad on Facebook, YouTube and using a mobile app. This year, brands are branching out more and trying to identify ways in which they can strategically use web, mobile and social and capitalize on some of the buzz surrounding one of the biggest events of the year. Here is a quick sampling of how some of the brands are integrating digital marketing into their traditional Super Bowl campaigns.

Coke’s Multi-Screen Ads

Coca-Cola is going the traditional route with traditional ad buys during the game featuring a reappearance of the soda-maker’s iconic polar bear mascots.

The digital twist is that each commercial will be promoting Coke’s microsite,, on which visitors will find the two polar bears again, who will be viewing the game, in real time, and commenting on it. To be fair, they have made one polar bear a Patriots fan and the other is routing for the Giants.

The microsite is fully integrated socially and visitors to the site will actually be able to use Facebook and Twitter to ask the bears questions and get them to answer back. The site is, of course, mobile friendly, so viewers will be able to bring it up on their phones or tablets while still watching the game.

Anheuser-Busch/Shazam Collaboration

Anheuser-Busch is taking an interesting approach in one of their in-game ads.

During the ad, the beer-maker will display a logo for the audio-recognition app maker Shazam. Viewers who have Shazam running on their mobile device will be able to download a free song when the app recognizes the audio track of the ad.

It isn’t clear how AB will be able to capture user data to take advantage of this conversion, but I have little doubt there will be some sort of social tie-in.

Chevrolet Game Time Mobile App

Chevrolet is giving away 20 vehicles and 1,000s of other prizes during this year’s Super Bowl through their new mobile app, Chevy Game Time.

Users will answer game-related questions and polls and those who answer correctly will be eligible to win prizes. There is an interesting hook to the television broadcast within the app. Each registered app user receives a unique virtual license plate. If a user’s license plate appears on one of the vehicles in the various Chevy TV ads, they win that vehicle.]

YouTube/NBC Super Bowl Ad Voting

YouTube is teaming up with NBC (the network that is airing this year’s game) to give Super Bowl viewers an easy way to vote for their favorite TV ads.

Their collaboration, YouTube Ad Blitz, is a dedicated online video channel that will house each of the Super Bowl ads once they have aired. Once the game ends, viewers can watch and vote for their favorite ad until the polls close at midnight on February 13th.

My Take It is clear that many of the major Super Bowl advertisers are beginning to understand the power of infusing digital into an event-based activation like a Super Bowl. They are seeing the value in using a piece of their in-event promotional activities to bring their audience online and create a channel in which they will be able to market to that audience, and continue to provide value, well after the final whistle blows. These brands have figured out that successful marketing campaigns in 2012 require digital integration, but has your company? If you are falling behind in the digital world and want to get caught up fast, contact us for a little digital strategy. Our team is comprised of some of the best digital marketers in the business and can help you identify which channels you should be focusing your marketing budget spend on this year and how you can creatively use those channels to market your products.
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