Super Bowl ads: a social phenomenon

Last time New York Giants met New England Patriots in the Super Bowl was four years back. Though the last two minutes heroics of Eli Manning still led the Giants to win the game, much has changed in the world since then. In the social world, the landscape in 2008 was comparatively smaller. For example,there were about 100 million Facebook users and 30 million tweets a month. Fast forward four years, in 2012 there are more than 800 million users on Facebook, more than 300 million tweets a day and 4 billion videos being streamed on YouTube every day. If nothing else, this completely changed the biggest television advertising day of the year.

For the first time, the brands did more public campaigns to gear up to the Super Bowl than any time before. Whether it was in form of contests to make audience vote for the best of the commercials or post teasers online to what to expect this year at Super Bowl. For example Chevy ran a Super Bowl ad contest. The 40 finalist ad spots were viewed on YouTube more than 35 million times and people voted and discussed them for a month. Doritos on the other hand asked people to make ads and submit in their contest. The prize being the winning entry getting airtime during the bowl. Volkswagen building up on the last year’s Darth Vader success dropped a teaser of their this year’s ad titled the Bark Side. It got about 10 million views before the game day.

The entire phenomenon of Super Bowl advertising is taken to another level this year and in many ways, the $3.5 million that advertisers shelled out for 30 seconds had much more impact this year than ever before. Social media enabled the 30 second spot to be a month-long advertising campaign.

But then there was Chrysler’s Halftime in America. No one saw it before, no one heard about it. So when the voice of Clint Eastwood came at the halftime mark, people paid attention to the ad like the good old times. The social media impact here: the official copy of the ad posted by Chrysler was watched more than 10 million times on YouTube within a week of its airing during the Super Bowl!

2 responses to “Super Bowl ads: a social phenomenon

  1. I wrote about something similar a few weeks ago ( What I found most fascinating was how often viewers were tweeting, but it all made sense when I found this crazy Nielsen statistic: 70% of iPad use occurs in front of a television!

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