When the biggest broadcast advertising event of the year airs on Sunday, a large number of online players ranging from YouTube to Nielsen will be at the ready with user-enabled voting to ascertain the best and worst of the 30-second spot lot.
AOL will run its sixth annual Super Sunday Ad Poll with Verizon attached as a sponsor, allowing viewers to vote on their favorite spots. Video alpha dog YouTube will reprise its 2007 ad voting effort with a special channel at YouTube.com/adblitz. And social networking site MySpace has leaped in with a "Fans of the Super Bowl" ad viewing and voting section.
Voting is not all about the mega-sites however. Ad research stalwart Nielsen has invited viewers to weigh in on its experimental HeyNielsen.com social networking site. Pete Blackshaw, EVP of Nielsen Online Strategic Services and ClickZ columnist, who is overseeing the Super Bowl ad evaluation program.
"I think 2007 is the year people took multitasking to a whole new level, and while they are watching the Super Bowl they are one click a way from a message forum or blog," he said. "We're in this new age of conversation and Super Bowl ads have always generated word of mouth, but the online elements put the word of mouth on steroids."
The most prolific Super Bowl 2008 advertiser isn't waiting for viewers to log onto their computers to vote on their favorite spots. Anheuser-Busch has invited consumers to use their mobile devices to vote on their favorite of the brewery's six spots during the game. The handheld voting effort is an expansion a similar program the brewer tried last year, when people were invited view a "secret" ad as a reward after the game, according to Tim Murphy, senior director digital marketing for Anheuser-Busch. The voting feature is part of A-B's Bud Bowl promotion.
Murphy said 82 percent of those who registered to vote did so last year, noting 21- to 27-year-olds carry a mobile device with them at all times. " The creative drives the outcome," he said. "It gets back to the cool factor and the young adult consumer. To be able to sit and view something and instantly react to what you just saw, it's highly appealing to me."
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