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New digital opps help advertisers be nimble

Saxum VP Blake Jackson discusses Super Bowl ads' depiction of digital evolution.
Oklahoman Published: February 5, 2013

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.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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