Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Media and Super Bowl XLII

Like altogether too many other writers, I started Super Bowl coverage back in October with a post on Frito-Lay’s 2008 contest. I’ve been looking to see what else is going on in the new media arena, and here’s an inventory of what you can watch for during Sunday’s big game.

View the video here.

Ad Age’s list of advertisers for the big game contains many of the usual suspects—Anheuser-Busch, Coke, Pepsi, and FedEx, for example. A-B has a long and illustrious history of Super Bowl advertising, and Bob Lachky’s take on the good, the bad and the difficult decisions is interesting. Some advertisers are returning after a hiatus—Kraft, eTrade and Victoria’s Secret Fall into that category. GoDaddy falls into a category all its own—the most outrageous ad rejected by the network, and again this year it’s getting publicity from people like me even though the ad itself will only air on YouTube. Here are links to a series of Ad Age articles leading up to the big day.

Super Bowl XLII continues a trend begun last year to include user-generated content, although contests and other efforts to drive viewers to websites during the game have taken place for a number of years. My memory is untrustworthy, so I’ll take Neil Perry’s word for the efforts in 2007. In iMedia Connection he lists:
•Doritos' "Crash the Super Bowl" campaign solicited 30-second commercials from consumers, and two out of thousands of submissions aired during the game. Both spots were voted high up in the "most-liked" polls.
•The NFL asked for ideas or commercial sketches from consumers. NFL produced, filmed and polished the winning idea into the final commercial spot.
•General Motors took a college campus approach with 400+ colleges participating to present their best storyboards and then having an ad agency produce the ad.

Alka-Seltzer also ran another installment of its long-running Plop-Plop Fizz-Fizz contest leading up to Super Bowl XLI. The winning video in this contest was run in the pre-game, so it didn’t make the official list.

This year the participants are:

The Doritos "Crash the Superbowl" site has the three top vote-getters posted. The winner will be announced during the game.

Sports memorabilia manufacturer Upper Deck offered two trips to the game for to the winner of its “Best Celebratory Dance” video contest. 63 (acceptable) videos were submitted and a rather sweet one entitled “Doggy McGuire” was the winner.

Also offering two trips to the Super Bowl is Molson Coors Brewing. Since a grand prize winner has not yet been announced, it looks as if the prize will be awarded for next year. It’s all a bit confusing and you might want to look at the website (multiple statements of age required!) and the contest rules.
Photo contests are a natural for Canon, which has sponsored many over the years. It bills itself as the Official Camera of the NFL and has already announced a contest for Super Bowl XLIII. As far as I can tell Canon doesn’t have an ad buy for Super Bowl XLII. The contest began on January 14 and has its own website but the only way I could find it is through a link on the press release on the Canon USA site. Also a bit confusing.

The NFL, as part of the Sprint NFL Access Tour ran a locally-based video contest. See the Winners tab on the site.

View the colonel's invitation and the winner.

KFC and the “Show Us Your Hot Wings” video contest get my vote as the most creative and the most fun. Here’s the Colonel’s invitation and the winner (I’m not going to explain; you’ll have to watch it for yourself). I think you’ll agree the consumer-created video is far more fun than the Colonel’s, but it was probably planned that way.

If you are not suffering from total Super Bowl fatigue, Nielsen will be using its Hey!Nielsen social network to assess ads during the game. According to the extensive Nielsen Super Bowl overview,following the game its AdWeek magazine will host a discussion of the ads involving bloggers and other new media types. If you’re not totally exhausted, you can visit their media blog or their ad blog.

Personally, I’m tired just thinking about all the energy being expended. I think the good news is that a lot of it is consumer/fan/viewer energy associated with this uniquely American institution!
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MaryLou Roberts said...

I'm posting the content of this email from GOOD magazine as a comment. MLR

My name is Natasha Dantzig, I work with GOOD Magazine.

The Super Bowl is an advertising bonanza, a snack food orgy and—oh yeah—a football game. Thought you might be interested in this original GOOD Video (2 minutes long).

If this video will be of interest to your readers, please feel free to post.

Let me know if you have any questions about this video, or about GOOD.

Anonymous said...

I really question the value of advertising during the Super Bowl, especially when the brands are already so highly recognized. Take, for instance, Coca Cola. Do people really decide, after a lifetime of drinking Pepsi that this fantastic ad is going to make them now buy Coke? I tend to think that that's $2.7M down the drain. I would think that such advertising would be great for launching something new, but quite a waste for promoting mature, existing products.

Ram Dhan Yadav, Kotamaraja said...


I have to disagree with you about the value of super bowl advertising. It is the only Family / Friends TV Party Event still alive in America. The number of eyeballs watching the sport and the advertisements keeps growing exponentially every year. This is certainly marketing departments paradise.

For big brands super bowl is primarily is a corporate messaging event. They tend to communicate to the emotion of the consumers rather than market product. Advertising during the super bowl reinforces the love that the consumers already have for the brands and it also increases the pride that the consumers get when they use the brand.
For new product launches, it is really a risky investment. Think about it, why would anybody invest $2.7 million on a 30 second spot for launching a new product that may or may not succeed. When Under Armor announced that it is buying super bowl ad for its new shoe line, stock market responded negatively. I know there are exceptions such as which grabbed attention by outrageous ads, how many companies would actually go that route of doing outrageous ads. This year Sales Genie did similar gamble by blatant in your face advertisements and spend about 5.5 million dollars + production cost for two spots. We have to wait and watch the success story of the Sales Genie this year.

The super bowl advertisement also won’t start and stop at the TV screen. Often, there is months of build done for the ads. Ex: Doritos and KFC used consumer generated ads mechanism to do the build up. The ads also encourage/lure the consumers to actually use internet to get more information about the product and brand post game. This post luring is traceable targeted advertisement.

In my opinion, for established brands, super bowl is an emotional communication channel where as for the new product launches it is a risky platform.

My 0.02 cents.