How Social Media Is Changing the Super Bowl
From Mashable - How Social Media Is Changing the Super Bowl
2010 is the year social media and the Super Bowl are officially converging.
Everyone from the advertisers and the NFL to fans and athletes are getting in on the social media Super Bowl action like never before.
In fact, we're seeing advertisers play up their controversial Super Bowl spots in social media channels, with online denizens weighing in with their candid thoughts. Of course there are also advertisers who are taking the straight and narrow path via their Facebook Fan Pages, offering fans the ability to share and and participate in Super Bowl-inspired Facebook activities.
Below we'll look at the entire social media picture as it pertains to the Super Bowl and round up what we've seen and expect from advertisers, the NFL, fans and athletes.
Super Bowl advertisers are using social media in three very unique ways this year:
1. To Manufacture Controversy:
- GoDaddy: The web-hosting company has never been shy about creating ads that push the boundaries of what's socially acceptable for television. This year it posted its 'Lola' ad online - which features a former football player now filling his time with more feminine activities - after it was banned by CBS. The move seemed like an effort stir up drama and generate online interest. What's especially interesting is that while GoDaddy has managed to rank fifth overall as the most-mentioned advertiser in terms of social media Super Bowl conversations (per Alterian SM2 data), it's also generating a ton of negative online buzz.
- ManCrunch: ManCrunch posted its 'banned' ad - which shows two men grabbing for chips and then spontaneously making out - to YouTube () and used social media channels to drum up controversy and video views. The strategy worked quite well and the advertisement has since gone viral.
- Focus on the Family: Focus on the Family may not have manufactured the controversy around its pro-life Tim Tebow spot, but the unseen advertisement has become the second most widely discussed Super Bowl ad nonetheless. People are using social media - especially Facebook - to voice their frustration and show their support, making Focus on the Family one of the most buzzed-about advertisers going into the Super Bowl this year.
2. To Generate Buzz Around Spots:
Several advertisers are using Facebook tie-ins to pump up the volume on online chatter about their spots. Instead of going for cheap controversy, they're using their Fan Pages to inspire fans to share content and participate in Super Bowl-themed activities that are spreading virally via Facebook, ensuring that social media mentions are mostly positive in nature (per Alterian SM2's analysis included below). Let's take a look at a few of the Facebook-savvy brands capitalizing on the Super Bowl via social media.
- Coca-Cola: The company's Live Positively Facebook app lets fans share a virtual Coke bottle on Facebook in order to watch a sneak peek of one of its Super Bowl spots. For each virtual gift shared, the brand is donating $1 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. As it stands, the campaign is generating a ton of positive buzz for the brand. Coca-Cola currently places fourth when it comes to the most positive conversations about Super Bowl advertisers, per recent Alterian SM2 social media analysis.
- Budweiser: Anheuser-Busch is the biggest Super Bowl advertiser this year, occupying five minutes of air time. It's also wisely using Facebook in a big way by encouraging fans to vote for the commercial they most want to see during the Super Bowl on Sunday. The efforts are paying off handsomely, as the brand has the highest positive sentiment score according to Alterian SM2 when compared against other advertisers.
- Target: While not a Super Bowl advertiser, Target is definitely getting in on the social media Super Bowl action with its Valentine's Day-themed Facebook application: Super Love Sender. The campaign combines the two events with a generous $1 million contribution promised to the most popular charities as selected by fans.
- Monster: The Super Bowl advertiser's social media blitz was unveiled earlier today. The company's social media efforts include a few seconds of its actual spot - which it exclusively shared with us - and a Super Bowl-specific microsite dubbed Fiddle a Friend. This site is currently just a landing page with a fiddle-playing beaver, but come Super Bowl Sunday you'll be able to send customized greeting cards to friends that feature the busy beaver fiddler.
3. Skipping the Super Bowl for Social Media
The idea behind the campaign is to encourage people to submit ideas to refresh their communities, and site visitors can vote on the ideas they like best. Ultimately, Pepsi will select and fund the most popular crowd-sourced ideas.
So far the campaign has been a huge social media success. According to Alterian SM2 data (see below), Pepsi tops all Super Bowl advertisers in total number of mentions and overall online reach.
For the first time ever, the NFL is officially participating in the Super Bowl melee. The Tag the Super Bowl #SB44 initiative encourages fans to tag their tweets and Flickr photos with the SB44 hashtag. The football organization is aggregating all tagged content and presenting it in a unique and interactive user interface, giving anyone the ability to visually explore tweets and photos.
Fans and Athletes
Fans are turning to Twitter and Facebook to weigh in on the big game and the advertisers like never before, and the social media activity will only continue to increase as we get closer to game time.
In fact, what will be especially interesting to watch is the online chatter about the Super Bowl ads that will continue long after the game. Given that sites like Hulu have a tradition of posting the Super Bowl spots online, we know from years past that the advertisers and ads will remain hot topics as social media fans continue to watch, share and discuss the top spots during the following week.
Another unique element to this year's Super Bowl: This is the first year NFL players are tweeting en masse. It's also the first time that fans will have this much unfettered access to the athletes uncensored opinions and game-day activities.
For example, Chad Ochocinco will bring us the Motorola-sponsored OCNN to cover all angles of the games, which will include commentary from other players he has recruited to his news crew. We also expect other players to share their experiences extensively, which is why we'll be following Twitter Lists like the one below.
Social Media Analysis
Alterian SM2 has been tracking the Super Bowl advertisers since early December. It has just released the latest version of its social media analysis and the findings are quite interesting. We've embedded the entire report below, but here are a few key takeaways:
- Pepsi and Focus on the Family are still the most buzzed-about advertisers. Together their combined social media mentions make up about 15% of all advertiser conversations tracked by Alterian SM2.
- GoDaddy is the fifth most mentioned advertiser in social media conversations, but it is also receiving the second biggest number of negative mentions (second only to Focus on the Family).
- Anheuser-Busch has the highest sentiment score among all advertisers.
- It's still the case that advertisers that are keeping mum on their Super Bowl spots aren't making anywhere near the impact on social media conversations as those that are offering sneak peaks or previews.