Home  › Media › Media Buying

Brands Take Super Risks With Social Media

  |  February 9, 2012   |  Comments

Some of the approaches employed in this year's Super Bowl ads might be a little unorthodox, but the potential payoff stands to send the companies' exposure into overtime.

Another Super Bowl is behind us, and advertisers eagerly wait to see whether the hard work of their brand managers and agencies has paid off. This year we saw many common themes (sex, animals, and cute babies come to mind), but we also saw advertisers take some risks. Audi may be criticized for missing the boat with its "Vampire Party" ad, but isn't the automaker just capitalizing on its recent association with the "Twilight" saga of films and the female demographic known to buy its cars? Fiat's "Seduction" spot may have been more sizzle than steak, but I'd wager nobody who saw it will look at the car quite the same way again.

Risky strategies revealed themselves elsewhere as well, particularly in the way that advertisers utilized social media. The Guardian may have put it best in its wrap-up of the game's ads with the sentiment, "When every spot wins the ratings war, the battle moves on to winning the Twitter spike." And what a battle it is. Capturing as many eyeballs as possible on TV is only the first part of the equation; the ultimate goal, at least within the hours and days following the Big Game, is to get consumers talking in the social space.

Some of the approaches employed this year might be a little unorthodox. The potential payoff, however, stands to send their exposure into overtime.

It All Comes Back to Social…but How Soon Is Best?

By now, most Super Bowl advertisers are incorporating some kind of Internet call to action into their commercial spots. Some drive them directly to Facebook, or to Twitter by featuring a hashtag. This year we saw others experiment by adding a second step. In its "Performance Basketball" spot, Bridgestone drove viewers to its brand site, only to redirect them to its Facebook page through a prominent home page image and link.

bridgestone-fb

It's a bold strategy, but it makes sense. A brand's Facebook page can only deliver so much product information. Sure, it's a great place to leverage the message delivered in the Super Bowl spot, but what's the likelihood that will translate into immediate sales? Directing consumers to the brand page first creates a filter that serves to qualify potential customers and distinguish them from the oglers. Those merely interested in the Super Bowl message can go to Facebook to view more ads. Those who are genuinely interested in the product, meanwhile, find themselves exactly where they need to be to find out more.

The Strategic Use of Facebook Ads for Building Post-Game Buzz

Facebook played an essential role in generating excitement about countless Super Bowl spots this year. Brands that leaked their ads early on used the platform to increase awareness of their upcoming spot and to encourage online sharing. When the game is over, brands still rely on the site to keep the conversation flowing, but this effort goes beyond a branded Facebook page crammed with additional ads relating to the Super Bowl message. Or at least, it should.

One way to ensure brand interaction doesn't end with a visit to one's Facebook page is through online advertising. Sponsored Facebook ads can be used to drive users to places where they can vote for their favorite ads, thus allowing companies the opportunity to further encourage brand affinity and support. This also gives consumers a place to go once their interest in your Facebook content has waned, and with careful ad targeting, can even lure potential customers away from other advertisers.

Instead of driving consumers to its own Facebook presence, for example, Cars.com used a portion of its post-game Facebook ads to channel them to USA Today's "Super Bowl Ad Meter," a Facebook app that allows users to rank this year's ads. In this way, the automotive research company can invite users to watch the ads again and to cast their vote, all in one place.

To further cement its Super Bowl message (and brand mantra) of "Confidence Comes Standard," Cars.com is running additional Facebook ads asking users to share what makes them confident in association with its Cars.com Cares charity campaign.

It's tough to justify taking risks when there's a multi-million dollar investment on the line, but these brands prove that it can be done…and that it makes the game so much more interesting.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tessa Wegert

Tessa Wegert is a business reporter and former media strategist specializing in digital. In addition to writing for ClickZ since 2002, she has contributed to such publications as USA Today, Marketing Magazine, Mashable, and The Globe and Mail. Tessa manages marketing and communications for Enlighten, one of the first full-service digital marketing strategy agencies servicing such brands as Bioré, Food Network, illy, and Hunter Douglas. She has been working in online media since 1999.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...