Super Bowl Advertisers Heavy Up on the Social Media

PHOTO: In a first for Coca-Cola, the polar bears will be "taking over" the official @CocaCola Twitter account on Feb. 5.

I was at a panel discussion a couple of years ago with David Plouffe, campaign manager for President Obama's 2008 campaign. David said one of the revelations they had during the campaign was that if it wasn't on video, it didn't happen. In a similar vein, social media works best when, well, when there is something to be social about and very few things are as social as sports. In fact, four of the top 10 most tweeted moments have been sports moments and every one of those four beat tweets of Osama Bin Laden's death and all but one beat the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami. It should come as no surprise then that the Super Bowl represents for advertisers, not just millions of eyeballs watching the broadcast but also millions of fingers simultaneously sharing their thoughts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. As social media matures, advertisers are becoming savvier in their ability to use it as part of the overall media mix. This year, the Super Bowl gives us a good look at current practices using a combination of traditional and digital media. During this year's Super Bowl, advertisers will be anticipating that viewers will access the Internet while watching the game.

The Super Bowl routinely draws more than 100 million viewers and is the biggest single event stage for advertisers. All 70 spots sold this year going for as much as $4 million for a single commercial. According to the Coca Cola marketing team, at least 60 percent of Super Bowl viewers are expected to have another screen—smartphone, tablet or laptop—nearby. So naturally, Coke will be planning to engage viewers online. Coke's TV spots will be directing viewers to, where a couple of the Coke Polar Bears will be watching the Super Bowl each rooting for a different team. Reportedly they will be cheering enthusiastically and also watching the commercials. Should be fun when a Pepsi ad comes on! Visitors to the site will also be able to ask the bears questions. Finally, after the game, visitors will be able to send friends coupons for Coke, either celebratory or conciliatory depending on your team preference.

See Coca-Cola Polar Bears' "Superstition" Ad

GM's Chevrolet is also motoring grill first into the fray with the Chevy Game Time app. Using the headline: "Don't Just Watch, Play Along With the Super Bowl" the free app download will allow users to interact socially with trivia questions and polls during the game along with the chance to win 1 of 20 cars and thousands of other prizes being given away. Users can also share the content with people in their social network. In a clever twist, if you registered before Jan. 27, you were given a unique license plate number. See that plate number on a car in the spot and that means you've won it.

See Chevy's "Happy Grad" Super Bowl Ad

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