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article imageHow this year's Super Bowl ads will offer social media perks

By David Silverberg     Jan 30, 2012 in Technology
Super Bowl ads this year are unlike anything you will witness: on Sunday, expect these million-dollar spots to feature Twitter hashtags, viral videos and music apps such as Shazam. Brands are embracing social media to get more out of their spots.
You've seen Super Bowl ads - or any ad, for that matter - plug their website at the end of some celeb-endorsed spot. But come Sunday, when the New York Giants face off against the New England Patriots, you won't see any URLs; instead, some brands will tell you to use the mobile app Shazam, which recognizes tunes and identifies the name of the song. With ad spots, you can open the app, Shazam would recognize the ad, then a URL or other perk will be unlocked.
For example, Super Bowl viewers who catch Pepsi’s commercial with “X Factor USA” winner Melanie Amaro performing the Otis Redding song “Respect” can download a free video of the performance by using the Shazam app after they capture audio from the commercial, FirstPost reports.
This is one way these 30-second ads - costing $3.5 million each - will be tapping into social media to keep NFL fans "sticky" to their marketing messages.
Coca-Cola wants to hook the Twitterati with some bait. Their Super Bowl spot will feature Arctic polar bears watching the game. As Reuters writes, "The bears will then be brought to life on Twitter, Facebook and on a dedicated website doing such things as responding to fans and commenting on the game." So if the Giants are winning, the animated bears will talk about the lead, their actions manipulated on the fly by ad agency Wieden + Kennedy.
Also, let's say there's a naughty ad or a Janet Jackson moment. At that moment, a bear will cover a cub’s eyes, Mashable writes.
As any Twitter user would recognize, hashtags have fast become a popular way to track trends. Of course, brands want to create their own buzz via their Bowl ads, leading Volkswagen's Audi to start a campaign. Its 60-second spot, on during the first break in the game, will promote the new 2013 Audi S7 and its LED headlight technology, which does some damage to a party of young vampires. Reuters writes "Audi hopes to continue the conversation about the ad via the Twitter hashtag #SoLongVampires."
Viral videos have quickly become a hot trend, especially before the Super Bowl lands in Indianapolis. Recently, Honda revealed a two-minute version of a Super Bowl ad they'll be running, starring Matthew Broderick in a reprise role as Ferris Bueller. A spoof of the 1986 Matthew Broderick film, it's a long spot for the 2012 CR-V compact SUV.
The vid quickly spread from YouTube to Twitter to Facebook feeds. Hits have already surpassed 433,000.
Kia Motors is taking early release a step further, MySanAntonio found, showing its Super Bowl ad called “Drive the Dream” on 18,000 movie screens beginning Wednesday. The 15-second teaser is already playing in some U.S. movies.
“Nobody has ever released their Super Bowl spot in theaters prior to game day,” said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing for Kia Motors. “We're trying to break through the clutter.”
A marketing professor comments on the trend: "We saw last year a lot of Super Bowl ads tried to push people to their websites via social media, and now we’re seeing social media push people toward the ads," University of Texas-Austin advertising professor Gary Wilcox said, according to New Jersey Online. "Until now it’s always been our feeling that watching Super Bowl ads is a surprise. Perhaps social media is enhancing that even if it spoils the surprise, but we don’t know yet."
On game day, NFL fans are not too far from their favourite gadgets. Mashable reports research has shown about 60 percent of people watching the game plan to have a second screen running — whether it’s a PC, tablet or a smartphone.
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