Q&A with Blake Jackson
Social media has changed advertising for Super Bowl
Q: How have new digital opportunities influenced Super Bowl ads?
A: Digital and social media continue to impact the approach brands take as they plunk down $3 million to $5 million for 30 seconds to 90 seconds of America's undivided attention. A photo of Coca-Cola's social media “command center” that circulated Sunday night featured roughly 20 community managers sitting around a boardroom table furiously typing on laptops — presumably responding to online feedback about Coke's Super Bowl campaign. When the action on the field halted for half an hour due to a power outage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, action exploded online, with posts by Oreo and Audi being retweeted or shared tens of thousands of times in the span of a few minutes. Dodge's “Farmer” ad was the talk of Facebook and Twitter long into the night, despite a complete lack of call to action during the spot itself. Brands large and small capitalized on the conversation by releasing extended versions or deleted scenes from their ads online.
Q: What role is integration playing in these campaigns?
A: Unlike a couple of years back, when every ad seemed to include a direct call to action to “like” the respective brand's Facebook page, this year's Super Bowl spots featured more subtle digital integration. Doritos and Tide, for example, included a simple Twitter hashtag in the bottom third of the screen in an attempt to funnel reaction and commentary into a single keyword pool online. Coca-Cola and Lincoln, meanwhile, rolled out elaborate microsites that allowed viewers to take control of the advertising narrative and determine the outcome of each campaign. Though not featured in a traditional ad, Pepsi's use of user-generated digital content during its intro to Beyonce's halftime show was a highlight of online chatter during the game.