A Super Social Super Bowl

by Ken Mueller on February 3, 2012 · 4 comments

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 01:  Official sign...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

This Sunday evening I’ll be doing what many of you will be doing: watching the Super Bowl.

And I’ll be watching because I’m a sports fan, a football fan, and…it’s something I’ve always done. I have no vested interest in this game as I don’t really like either team. I’d be happy with a 0-0 tie. I mean, I really dislike both teams, though I guess if I had to pick I’d be rooting for the Giants.

But you don’t really need to watch the Super Bowl. Just pay attention to your Twitter feed or your Facebook newsfeed and you’ll most likely know what’s going on in near real time.

While I’m a football fan, like many others I’ll be watching for other reasons.

I love watching the commercials. Ever since Apple’s landmark “1984” commercial, the Super Bowl has been a showcase for advertising, and in recent years the social component has increased greatly.

This year is being billed as the first truly social Super Bowl, complete with a Social Media Command Center. This includes a Twitter account (@SuperBowl2012) that will answer your questions and help you navigate the wide variety of activities related to the Super Bowl. This is also the first Super Bowl which you can view online (or on your mobile phone) via a live stream. This will allow a lot of people to watch if they aren’t near a TV, or perhaps don’t have cable or satellite.You can get a more complete look at the Super Bowl Social Media Command Center in Jay Baer’s recent podcast with Taulbee Jackson of Radious, the company that developed the command center. I’ll also be interested in how the numbers of those viewing online will be included in the ratings data. And will the stream be able to handle a high volume of viewers? I’ll probably be viewing online, as well as watching on television, just to make a comparison of the experiences.

Previously, if you didn’t have access to the game on TV, you would go to a bar to watch the big game in a shared environment. I’m not sure we can get hard and fast numbers on this, but I know folks who head to bars rather begrudgingly to see the game; it’s their last option. But now they can stay home and watch online. Will bars see a decrease in numbers? After all, you can still get a shared experience at home via Twitter. Oh, and if you aren’t a football fan, you might want to avoid Twitter completely on Sunday. We may even see some Twitter records broken during the game.

In addition to the NFL’s official Super Bowl website, there is also the “local” Indianapolis Super Bowl Site, complete with a webcam, as well as a Facebook Page.

Of particular interest to me will be the ads, as well as how well they integrate social into their marketing and advertising campaigns. There will be QR codes on the screen, and I’m sure many of the advertisers will direct viewers to their online social properties. On a regular basis, many of us watch television while also spending time online via smart phones, tablets, and laptops. Marketers and programmers are smart to tap into the “dual-screen” nature of our viewing.

One of the winners is sure to be Chevy. They are upping the ante with the first ever advertiser sponsored Super Bowl app. The beauty of the app and related contest is that it is designed to keep people engaged throughout the entire game, while offering lots of prizes, along with the chance of winning one of 20 Chevy vehicles. It offers gamification and engagement while focusing on the game itself, not just for 60-seconds, but for the duration of the game.

Other advertisers like Coke and Toyota will have heavy social components to their ads as well. And of course some of the ads have already been available for preview on YouTube.

So I’ll be glued to my computer AND my television, getting a glimpse of how far we’ve come in terms of convergence and integration with both programming and advertising/marketing. I think it will be fun.

Will you be watching the Super Bowl? If so, how, and will you be participating in any of the online social elements? Who do you think will be the big winners?



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I'm not going to be watching. I have zero interest in football. But from what I've seen, a lot of the interest, at least in previous years, has been around the commercials. Now that you can see quite a few of them pre-Super Bowl, am I really going to be missing anything?


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