Advertisers In The ‘Most Viewed Telecast In Broadcast History’ See Mixed Increase In Social Media Engagement
February 11, 2011
If you tuned in this past Sunday–and judging by Nielsen‘s reports, most of you probably did (there were 111,010,000 viewers for the big game that’s been dubbed as “Most Viewed Telecast in Broadcast History”)–you were in for a great game. And if you’re really not into the whole guys-with-pads-knocking-each-other-out-of-consciousness (and Reuters says 26% of Americans tune in solely for the ads), then at least you tuned in for the commercials, in which case, take note of the final score–you’ll need this for the watercooler: Greenbay Packers 31 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 25. Also see the full playlist of all the Super Bowl 45 commercials at the bottom of the blog.
So did 2011 Super Bowl Ads Go Social as we highlighted in a previous post? Let’s examine:
What we know about Super Bowl 45:
- Average 30 second spot cost about $3 million
- Approximately 76% of U.S. households were tuned into the game
- A number of Super Bowl commercials and social media campaigns + tie-ins were rolled out prior to the game
- Super Bowl 2011 had it’s own hash tag (#sb45)
- Approx. 48 minutes of advertising broadcasted throughout the game in 2010
- Nearly two-thirds of 18-34 year-olds planning to watch the Super Bowl have smartphones and intended to use them while watching the game
- Of those, 59% were planning on sending emails or text messages about the game, while 18% planned on checking out the ads on their phones
- Audi claimed to be the first Super Bowl advertiser to use a hashtag (#progressIS)
Just like in previous years, ad-buzz starts long before the coin is flipped on the 50 yard line. These so-called leaks give advertisers the opportunity to gauge audience reaction before taking the plunge with $3 million into a spot and build buzz around their campaign. In addition, brands like Bud Light, Mercedes Benz, and Audi initiated their campaign weeks prior to the game.
Volkswagen’s “The Force” leaked video commercial and Audi’s #progressiveIS campaign took the lead in pre-game buzz (click on the infographic to get the full picture). And it seems VW took the sentiment spotlight during the big game itself (see below).
Sentiment, Popularity and Engagement During Super Bowl 45
Mashable reported that social media discussions were 83% positive (vs. 79% last year) with most discussion focused on (in descending order of popularity)
- The game
- The ads
- Christina Aguilera’s National Anthem
- ‘Black Eyed Peas’ Half Time show
Most Talked About Campaigns From Super Bowl 45 on Twitter (within 1 hour of premiere)
- Chrysler’s Detroit Eminem (19,781 tweets during premiere hour)
- Transformers 3 (18,215 tweets)
- User-generated Doritos (averaged 15,425 tweets between the 1st and 2nd airing)
Top-3 Commercials with Highest Twitter Sentiment:
- Bridgestone – Reply All (94% positive)
- Pepsi MAX – First Date (92% positive)
- VW – The Force (91% positive)
Top-3 “Shared” Commercials (compared to Saturday prior to Super Bowl):
- Pepsi MAX – First Date (+3,000 increase in shares)
- Super 8 (~1,700% increase in shares)
- Carmax – Gas Station (~1,100% increase in shares)
How (most) Super Bowl advertisers missed the mark:
Despite the impressive, yet somewhat superficial metrics, most of the Super Bowl advertisers missed the mark. I came across a comment by Ian Schafer that encapsulated this fail: “This year, they [Super Bowl Advertisers] just looked out of touch by ignoring the medium that many people are using just as much as TV.” This was evident because only a few advertisers even referenced their Facebook URL, but aside from the traditional (and really funny) slapstick humor, most brands didn’t really foster a substantial community around this medium.
Television aside, according to comScore, the number of hours spent on Facebook is soaring as compared to Google and the rest of the Internet. In August 2010 alone, users spent 41.1 million minutes on Facebook. And as far as “reach,” a recent AIS Media survey [shameless plug] revealed just how much reach Facebook has with 27% of smartphone users using Facebook users while in the bathroom. And with 59% of Super Bowl fans expected to text and/or email during the game about the Super Bowl and 18% planning to checking out Super Bowl ads on their phone, why not use this powerful channel to capture mind-share?
To paraphrase the rest of Schafer’s article, advertisers may have gotten hits, views, shares, etc., however, the opportunity to kick-off meaningful engagement that could have been fostered and captured in a CRM-focused environment like Facebook, was missed.
Every year the headlines read: “Super Bowl Ad Winners Announced.” However how we define a “winner” has significantly changed. Whereas in the past, entertainment value and ad-buzz ruled boardrooms, marketing executives today are being held accountable to much higher standards, especially with ad-buy prices like $3 million for a 30 seconds spot (that’s $100,000 per second!). So it’s no surprise that engaging consumers on a deeper level that engenders brand interaction and therefore increases mind-share is what companies require today.
So who won the social media “deep engagement” game?
Bud Light spent $1.2 billion for Super Bowl naming rights + ad time (the biggest investment in the most watched event of the year); had an engaging user-generated Facebook campaign (“Unlock The Spot”) that launched prior to the game; and three “ok” commercials that garnered about 1.45 million YouTube views. But where Bud Light fell short is the post game engagement strategy and garnering significant buzz during the game.
Audi, on the other hand, channeled the buzz through Twitter and a microsite; garnered about 1 million YouTube views with a single, “funny” commercial; received and have continued interaction with users beyond the game (2.88 million likes to date); and saw a 47% increase in followers (think long-term audience) topping 28,000 Feburary 7th. Based on these stats the Audi campaign appears to be more “efficient” in terms of ROI on marketing dollars spend and conclusively the “Deep Social Media Engagement” winner for Super Bowl 45. So what can those brands that cannot justify Super Bowl ad spend learn from the bigger brands?
What non-Superbowl advertisers can learn for Social Media Campaigns (rehashed from AIS Media’s latest market research) .
In their short existence, Facebook and Twitter have emerged as a powerful marketing channel with a critical mass of audience–whether stationary or ‘on the go’–and reaches all demographics.
Unlike television however, which still commands the majority (but closely and very quickly being encroached on by social media) of consumers’ attention, Facebook in particular offers businesses and brands the opportunity to precisely target very specific consumer demographics and psychographics; a level of precision not available with any other advertising channel, including Internet display ads.
Conversely, Facebook offers businesses and brands with mass-market appeal, an opportunity to promote to a highly targeted audience that has demonstrated a high degree of receptiveness in sharing content with peers. Whether offering a cool/entertaining new product, specific monetary incentive, or a tool that has utility, the “viral” nature of social media only serves to amplify campaign efforts across this channel.
However “just” social networking, requires a strategy that engages the target demographic not only for the immediate campaign, but builds future mind-share potential.
Facebook Strategy: No Longer ‘Optional’
Whether you have $3 million to spend on a Super Bowl ad or not, Facebook, et. al. will not become the exclusive channel for B2C advertisers (remember AOL?). However, Facebook, Twitter and whatever new shiny object comes around, must be considered by any B2C marketer today.
As brands reassess their company’s 2011-2012 social media initiatives, they should approach their plan with this quote in mind: “Creative without strategy is called ‘art.’ Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising.’” (Jef I. Richards, U.S. Professor of Advertising.)
What’s your goal with your social media strategy?
- Increase brand awareness and reach
- Improve customer loyalty
- Drive sales
- Enhance brand reputation
- Foster consumer-advocacy
Your goal can be all of the above, however asking these questions is critical to any successful social media campaign.
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If you missed the 2011 Super Bowl XLV (#sb45) commercials. Use the navigation arrows or just press play, full screen button and enjoy!