Social media influences every part of society now with sites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter being a part of the common vocabulary and being visited several times a day by millions of people. It has infiltrated every aspect and event of life, including the Super Bowl. Twitter is the easiest social media to follow trends on and contained millions of tweets about the big game.
A good example of this infiltration can be seen when twitter hash tags are examined. In 2012, only 8 of the super bowl ads contained a twitter hash tag. In 2013, twenty six of the ads which amounts to half of all of the big game’s commercials contained a hash tag. When it comes to super bowl social media, there were 24 million tweets about the game and half time show alone. There were millions more tweets about the commercials themselves according to CNBC panelists.
The super bowl blackout lasted only 34 minutes but will go down in history as one of the oddest events to ever occur during the game. Super bowl social media users made the most of the break in game play with searches for power outrage surging during the blackout and creating a surge in advertising revenue for twitter. Advertisers jumped onboard showing consumers that they were on top of current trends. Oreo tweeted “Power out? No problem, you can still dunk in the dark” which was retweeted more than 10,000 times in one hour. Audi tweeted that they were sending LEDs to the Superdome and Tide cleverly tweeted “We can’t get your black out but we can get your stains out”.
The panelists in the CNBC video believe that social media is ruining the ad business – especially when it comes to the most seen commercials during the super bowl. They found this year’s ads boring scoring a “meh” across the board. Companies are terrified about the backlash that can be seen on social media about ads that are edgy or different. Social media such as Twitter allows everyone to have a public voice. All of these millions of voices are squelching the creativity of ads because someone is always outraged about everything. Super bowl social media gives these outraged individuals a public medium to voice it. Companies are so scared of this outrage that they have become safe and boring.
One way that advertisers are using social media in their commercials is by letting people vote on how an ad should end. This encourages people to become engaged in the campaign and to feel that they have some ownership. This investment and interaction has made the 2013 super bowl the most democratic one on record. With a one minute commercial costing 8 million dollars, companies have a huge investment in the ads. While social media may dampen down their creativity, there are ways that the ads can use super bowl social media to their advantage as well.
Social media gives people the chance to be heard about everything from whether their lunch was good or not to how they feel about super bowl commercials. Advertisers in the super bowl need to keep these millions of voices in mind to ensure that their major investment of ad time pays off in the end.