With Super Bowl Sunday upon us, the anticipation and excitement surrounding the big game is palpable. Living in the Philadelphia area, with the Eagles having a shot at revenge against the Patriots who beat them 13 years ago in Super Bowl 39, it is nearly impossible not to go somewhere without seeing a person wearing an Eagles jersey, hearing a spontaneous E-A-G-L-E-S cheer or observing some other form of team spirit. Though, regardless if your team is in the big game or not, the Super Bowl is a major event that draws 100+ million viewers across the globe. With such a large captive audience, some tuning in just for the commercials, companies invest millions of dollars to acquire coveted Super Bowl advertisement slots. For Super Bowl 52, the cost per ad has climbed to $5 million for a 30 second spot.
Advertisements for the Super Bowl extend beyond television and Twitter is getting in on the action. This year, Twitter is hosting #BrandBowl, which will provide prizes to the best Super Bowl ads sold on Twitter. Hillary Grigonis from Digital Trend identified the awards as follows:
#MVP – the company with the highest % of tweets related to the company during the game
#Blitz – the company with the highest tweets per minute average
#QuarterBack – the company with the highest number of retweets
#Interception – the company with a television ad that had the most conversions to Twitter
Winners will receive prizes, including free ads, paid consumer research, trophies and media exposure on BuzzFeed News. Additionally, Twitter users who retweet #BrandBowl52 will receive real-time updates on the Twitter contest during the Super Bowl.
The Twitter ad contest further blurs the lines between real life and social media, promoting simultaneous consumption of multiple media sources. Twitter recently hired the research firm Neuro-Insight to perform a study which found that watching televised games and using Twitter at the same time increased consumer engagement by 31%. Furthermore, the study found that Twitter ads created 42% more engagement than TV ads and that Twitter users also watching a game on TV were 18% more engaged with the ads on TV.
Facts and figures aside, it is evident that social media platforms, and in this case Twitter, improve the consumer experience and provide a greater sense of engagement. Whether it be tweeting, voting, sharing or other methods of engagement, viewers have the ability to be a part of the action. Twitter has found a way to take advertisements during the Super Bowl and put their own spin on it, actively engaging a captive audience, some watching for just the commercials, and directing attention to the ads on Twitter. What I believe is great about Twitter’s approach is that they are not trying to steal Super Bowl viewers, which would probably be futile, but instead they are creating a business model that improves the consumer experience while maximizing the benefits to advertisers. Although there will be a loser of the Super Bowl, we can expect that consumers, Twitter and advertisers will all come out winners.