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The Super Bowl this year was very exciting; a great match between the Giants and the Patriots and a halftime show where a still-relevant Madonna rocked the house, giving the likes of Lady Gaga and Rihanna a run for their money. But for those of us who work on Madison Avenue, the “Brand Bowl” was exciting for an entirely different host of reasons. We saw how a gathering of more than 100 million people, participating in a shared experience, can react to a brand and how the importance of the crowd can take brands and messages to new heights. I had the pleasure of watching the Super Bowl at the iMEDIA Brand Summit with about 200 other media executives, which was fascinating because I got to see and hear firsthand their reactions to the commercials. And even better, the next day was full of sessions where we heard from brands like Budweiser, Sears, Kelloggs and American Express, in which they gave their perspective on the transformation of marketing to a digitally-centered practice. The importance of social, data, new measurement and advertiser-produced content was also discussed.
The number of people involved in this year’s Super Bowl — sharing their reactions to the game, half-time entertainment, and the ads — was staggering. @twitter hit an all-time record high of 12,233 tweets per second at the end of the game. This is up from the high of 4,000 tweets per second at the end of last year’s game. This demonstrates that consumers are becoming more comfortable with a multi-screen experience and that smart phones are making social sharing an integral part of our everyday lives. Most of this year’s commercials included hash tags, including my personal favourite #solongvampires from Audi. These hash tags provide brands the opportunity to track the viral success of their spot and gives consumers a way to share their feelings with friends and followers in a simple way while encouraging brand loyalty.
According to a study by Buddy Media, 30% of brands posted a message about the Super Bowl. They evaluated the engagement and found that brand posts containing Super Bowl keywords saw engagement rates 99.7% higher than posts that did not. That’s nearly double the engagement for those brands.
Additionally, at this conference, Erin Matts gave an excellent keynote address on the transformation of marketing occurring at Anheuser-Busch. They are shifting away from the past mindset of simply producing funny advertising with a logo, spending millions of dollars on media and then evaluating its efficacy only on standard metrics, like reach and frequency. Instead Anheuser-Busch is moving to a content-oriented approach, where the brand is woven into the story line not unlike soap operas of the 1950s.
As an example, based on the success of the FIFA World Cup program Budcup A-B, they launched a global-social reality series, “The Big Time” on ABC and YouTube. Anheuser-Bush is using its marketing prowess to drive tune-in, and leveraging the celebrities in the series to tweet on behalf of the brand and engage consumers in highly branded entertainment. This content-oriented approach is also being leveraged within their long form commercials, like their mini-movie “Flash Mob” that aired in Canada during the Super Bowl and was rebroadcast online in seven global markets.
All of this tells us that the increasingly important measures to the new digital marketers include:
– % of Target Reach (and Gross Reach)
– Engagement (action)
– Likelihood to search for more content (on your brand/product)
As more brands transform into large scale content producers and engage directly with consumers across the various digital channels, how will you as a publisher or seller of media rise up and help solve the new challenges facing your clients — like social engagement, new measurement, targetability and creative innovation?
The views expressed here reflect the views of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of 24/7 Real Media, its affiliates, subsidiaries or its parent company, WPP plc.
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