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How Social Media is Changing the Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is one of the largest sporting events, not just in United States, but across the globe. While many sports fanatics watch the Super Bowl, many of the viewers simply watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. Currently, ranking in with over 100 million viewers, and over four million dollars for a 30 second spot, one has to ask themselves, how has the Super Bowl achieved such popularity in the world of marketing?
Since the rise of social media, marketing has had a huge impact on the Super Bowl, especially on the commercials. News and the latest trends are all hitting our doorsteps faster than ever before. Marketing is becoming a sporting event in and of itself if you think of it from a competitive perspective. First, you have the star players like Bud Light and Coors Light, Ford and General Motors, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, etc., coming up with new strategies to win the hearts and wallets of consumers. Second, they are all playing against each other head-to-head with their 30 seconds of air time. Nowadays, you can ask anyone what their most memorable moment of the Super Bowl was, and if it isn't a miraculous interception or that first play safety, it's typically a commercial. Super Bowl commercials have become an American past time. Every advertisement agency knows that coverage during the Super Bowl game is one major factor to elevating product sales. Heck, even the president gets coverage during the SB. Great strategy O'Reilly & Obama! However, inflation is only making it more challenging for advertisers. It seems to really boil down to how much money companies want to pay to get product exposure. At four million dollars a spot, you better make sure that the message you are sending is the right one. I mean, you want a return on this significant investment.
According to a recent study, only one in five Super Bowl commercials leads to an actual sale, or a plan to make a purchase. So, one may ask, what IS the point of spending millions of dollars when it's not guaranteed to increase sales? For big time companies, getting a spot on the Super Bowl is just a way to let consumers and their competition know that they are one of the top dogs in their industry. So where does that leave the under dogs (in the industry)? This is when social media can play an important role in the marketing/advertising arena.
The social media revolution for the Super Bowl basically started in 2012 when hashtag mentions began boosting advertisement efforts. As of last year, YouTube began featuring commercial teasers as a way to get double the media coverage. This marketing strategy is still in effect for 2014. “This year, brands are posting both their full Super Bowl ads on YouTube before the game and using the social video site to post and promote teaser ads in an attempt to create engagement for the main ad that will air Sunday.” In addition, many businesses decided to solely use YouTube to avoid spending millions of dollars. For most, this is a cost efficient route to take. And since there is not much censorship on the internet, this can be advantageous for companies.
So what can we learn from this year's Super Bowl? (Besides proving that legalizing marijuana was not in the Bronco's best interest). We can definitely conclude that social media continues to make the Super Bowl more famous. From television coverage to hashtags on Twitter, advertising is everywhere you look. As social media advances, so does marketing. From a marketing point of view, it's not so much about what you do it, it's how people see it. YouTube is becoming a more viable option to increase customer base and I believe that we will continue to see companies using YouTube as a means of free advertising. It's an exceptional marketing tool and is a lot more affordable. For companies big or small, social media is a level playing field.