Super Bowl ads generate so much before-game anticipation and after-game buzz that they have become nearly as important as the game itself. The ability to reach the single largest television-viewing audience of the year (an estimated 113 million viewers this year) and the extreme level of attention paid to Super Bowl ads makes these 30-second commercials one of the most powerful brand-building tools in the American marketplace. Of course, at $3.5 million for 30 seconds, they ought to be.
The arrival of each year’s crop of Super Bowl ads is so highly anticipated that this year several advertisers made the surprising decision to forego the secrecy that usually shrouds game-time ads and release their commercials on YouTube several days before the game. Volkswagen even released a pre-ad (the Star Wars barking dogs) to increase anticipation for its game-day commercial. YouTube logged millions of hits as fans flocked to be among the first to see the new spots. Given social sharing and the viral nature of the web, brand exposure increased exponentially. While this has been true in past years, it was hoped that releasing the ads early would maintain brand awareness over a longer period of time, giving advertisers a bigger bang for their buck.
It will take a while for the number crunchers to come to reach any conclusions, but Brian Haven analysis of last year’s Super Bowl ad campaigns by on icrossing.com found that most of 2011’s game-day ads had only a short-term impact on a brand’s social engagement with consumers. Once the ad buzz ended, brand awareness seemed to drop to pre-Super Bowl levels in most cases.
Perhaps that is why the most significant new element in this year’s Super Bowl ads was the addition of an interactive social dimension to engage fans who were expected to be watching the game with a smartphone, tablet or laptop in easy reach. Ads used QR codes, Shazam, Twitter hashtags, streaming video and more to entice fans to access bonus content or share comments. The take-away lesson for real estate agents [http://www.realestatesites.com/]: Greater interaction equals better brand recall.
Next time: Tips for increasing customer interaction