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2013 Social Super Bowl: What To Watch For Sunday

Ann Marie Taepke.

The Super Bowl has always been an advertising showcase for marketers. It's the rare occasion where you don’t set your DVR and fast-forward through the commercials.  But lately, it’s been a big stage for social media integration as well. I've tracked social media’s involvement in the Super Bowl through the last few years, and I have to say that 2013 might be the best yet.

Last year, the big social push for brands was to release their commercials early on YouTube and there are many, such as Taco Bell, Hyundai and Century 21 repeating that strategy. Mashable reported this week that Super Bowl Ads shown before the game get as much as 600% more views. Not too shabby. However, there are a few brands who are really taking social media in the Super Bowl to a whole new level.  Here’s what to watch for this Sunday:


1. YouTube Sensations Hit Prime Time

Volkswagen has already released a tease of their Super Bowl ad leveraging viral video memes once known for their emotional outbursts to change their ways and get happy. The ultimate web redemption is led by Jamican musician, Jimmy Cliff, and features YouTube favorites such as the fake eHarmony crying cat lady (actress Cara Hartmann) and Councilman Phil Davison from Ohio.

And then just when you thought you had this song out of your head for the 2013, Wonderful Pistachios is bringing back the Gangnam Style phenomenon with their own Super Bowl spot featuring entertainer, Psy. Gangnam Style currently has 1.2 billion views on YouTube and holds the record for the most watched video of all-time on the channel.

2. Putting Tweets In The Driver Seat

Crowdsourcing its 60-second Super Bowl ad, Lincoln Motor Company recruited the help of Jimmy Fallon to launch a Twitter campaign called #steerthescript asking followers about their craziest roadtrip stories. The company then selected five tweets and used them to create fullscale television commercials.  The storytellers were even flown out to the shoots to see their story come to life.

Similarly, Doritos has brought back their ground-breaking Crash The Super Bowl campaign, putting fans back in the driver seat to create and vote on their Super Bowl ad. Fun Fact: In the fan-created ad, Goat For Sale, the director’s best friend from grade school is the goat’s scream. And it's hilarious.

Another notable campaign is Coke Chase by Coca-Cola, a microsite allowing advocates to "choose their own adventure" by determining which team wins a race through the desert for Coca-Cola. The team with the winning vote will be the commercial that airs this Sunday. While an engaging idea, the social integration is limited. The microsite only allows you to share your vote through social channels or tweet using the team hashtag.

3. Crowd-Sourcing

The Pepsi Halftime Show will feature hundreds of photos submitted by its fans on Sunday as an on-air introduction to Beyonce. Several sources have called this the first-ever crowdsourced Super Bowl halftime show. Photos were judged as well to award one lucky winner a trip to the Super Bowl and 50 runners-up an on-field appearance.

Also featuring fan photos, Toyota will be featuring one fan's photo during their Super Bowl ad of Kaley Cuoco granting wishes as a genie. Users posted photos of themselves to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #wishgranted to appear in the commercial.

What Do You Think?

Additionally, PepsiNext plans to give away two-liters to the first million people who sign up to try it for free directly after their commercial airs and a few brands plan to keep their commercials a surprise. What brand do you think is integrating social media into their Super Bowl campaign the best? Let me know in the comments and stay tuned for our recap post on Monday!


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