Superbowl: Social Media’s Damp Squib


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This was going to be the year that the SuperBowl advertisers presented flly integrated social media campaigns into their commercials, bringing a modernity and connectivity to the whole event that had never been seen before.

Except it didn’t.

Placing #tags and urls into the ads hardly counts as a social media revolution. Where was the interaction, where indeed, was the behavior change that they were driving for in the ads? Where was the acknowledgement that there are many new and exciting media that the consumer already interfaces with to connect with their brands?

I have already posted on the futility of the Super Bowl ads. What has been revealing this year is that so many other people in the industry have commented on the same issue. This is new. This is different, but it is not going to have any impact. I have no doubt that next year we will read PR release after PR release about who is buying air time at the Super Bowl and we will get all the hype again about the spots we are going to see.

The problem is that there are simply too many vested interests in continuing this facade. The agencies want the profile, the TV company wants the revenue and the company executives who approve the spend no doubt suffer from the hubris of thinking that this spend is actually going to generate sales.

Sadly, the self same companies that have made such a hash (no pun intended) of integrating social media into their mainstream advertising, missing the key opportunity of the year, will none the less look to social media to measure audience reaction. There are probably there now in their meeting rooms exchanging power points on how many YouTube views their ad has received. They will be trawling twitter for mentions and their PR firms will pat themselves on the back because they got such valuable coverage that is worth millions.

Excuse me if I don’t jump for joy. You missed an opportunity (again) to connect with your customers in a meaningful way. There was not one of the ads that invited the customers to develop their connection with their brand. Where were the invitations that the consumer do anything? It is mindblowing. A majority of people who watched the Superbowl have a smartphone and will have texted os sms’d during the match – but none of the ads engaged these people to do anything.

Advertising at the super bowl is real spray and pray advertising. Narrowing down the target and getting a response from as many people in the audience as possible should have been a key objective set for the marketers approving the spend here. The Superbowl offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with people. They are in a good meed, they are receptive, they are waiting for the ads (not something that you can say during most TV shows), and then…nothing.

What could these advertisers have done?

Groupon could have signed up all the Tibetan restaurants it could find nationally and sent out a coupon for each city possible (for sure they should have found them in Texas).

Chrysler could have asked anyone touched by the Detroit Epic to contribute to a charity supporting a city that they themselves acknowledge is in need.

Doritos could have … well actually I am bit stuck as I was totally grossed out by the Doritos best bit pervert.

But you get the idea. I wanted these ads to develop connections between the advertisers and their community. It didn’t happen. What we got instead is a bunch of ads that allow and enable the marketing community to get together and propagate backslapping and congratulations about what a good Superbowl it was.

Maybe next year things will be different…

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Richard Kohn
Results driven, inspirational innovator with extensive global experience. Blue-chip experience in FMCG, B2B & professional services. Respected for delivering actionable & game changing business solutions across all aspects of a commercial operation.


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