Gone are the days when Super Bowl ads were kept under lock and key, only to be unveiled during the big game. In 2012, the conversation was focused on the ‘social bowl’ and how viewers could interact with exclusive social media content during the game. In 2013, we’re seeing major consumer packaged goods manufacturers, and Super Bowl advertising mainstays, like Doritos, sourcing ad content from its diehard fans.
A recent New York Times article points out the further evolution of Super Bowl advertising – offering ad previews via social media during the weeks leading up to the game. Companies hopping on this bandwagon include Proctor & Gamble and Kraft Foods. While a departure from the way Super Bowl ads have been unveiled for decades, the pros and cons of this approach are intriguing:
Building Brand Buzz: If a company unveils a home run ad prior to the big game, they gain days, if not weeks, of positive conversation surrounding their brand. In addition, this buzz can help to build viewership for the television spot on game day, with those who have seen a portion of the ad in advance encouraging their friends, family and colleagues to keep an eye out for the content.
Increased Exposure: Not everybody watches the Super Bowl. By sharing game day ads via social media leading up to the game, consumer packaged goods companies can get in front of customers who may not otherwise consumer their ad content.
Standing Out from the Pack: Let’s face it. There are A LOT of commercials during the Super Bowl. It doesn’t take much to get lost in the shuffle. There are also far fewer brands sharing their content in advance of the game than unveiling it on game day. Why not capitalize on more focused attention?
Content Overload: We live in a world where people are checking Facebook, Twitter and the like while they watch television and text with their friends. A Super Bowl ad preview can easily get lost in a content-rich, multitasking world.
Attribution: Many consumer packaged goods manufacturers are known for their successful social media marketing campaigns. Will consumers associate the ad previews with social media marketing campaigns or Super Bowl advertising?
Perceived as Stale: If the content has lived online for a few days or even a couple of weeks, will viewers perceive the content as stale by the time these Super Bowl ads run in their entirety?
With AdAge reporting that ad inventory for Super Bowl XLVII is ‘more or less sold out’ there will be plenty of fresh ads for viewers to consume for the first time during the game. The question is, will the social buzz around the ads that were previewed before the game overshadow those that debut on game day?