The Super Bowl TV Spot of the Future Will Be the Beginning, Not the End

| Creative + Industry + Media

Last week, we did a post discussing how a marketer could hypothetically execute a campaign on Undertone instead of spending $4M on a Super Bowl TV spot. At the time we called it a thought exercise, and it probably is, since no digital standalone will have the cache that the Super Bowl brings with it. However, after Super Bowl 47 (SB47), it is clear that the Super Bowl campaign of the future will contain far more digital elements than ever before, and that the TV spot is the centerpiece of a multi-faceted initiative.
It used to be that TV was the only place to reach mass audiences. And while TV is still king, we are seeing an unprecedented shift in media consumption to digital—not at the expense of TV, but in addition to it, via the multi-screen consumer. SB47 gave us examples of how this can complement the TV spot.
A URL at the end of the TV spot is no longer enough. In a nod to the prevalence of social media on the second (and third) consumer screen, over half of SB47 spots had a Twitter hashtag in them.  Oreo drove users to Instagram to show their love for the brand, gaining tens of thousands of new followers in the process.
Some brands took it a step further in social by being at the ready for real-time conversation. In a twist of fate we will probably never see again in our lifetimes, several brands took advantage of the SB47 blackout—which drove even more digital traffic and usage—in clever Tweets and Facebook posts. AdAge highlights them and the media “war room” that produced one of the best ones, again from Oreo.
SB47 was a glimpse into the digital future, which will be about leveraging the multi-screen opportunity, digital extensions, and capitalizing on the real-time opportunity. Super Bowls of the future will have digital elements pre-planned and in many cases, pre-reserved as with TV, but with elements optimized in real-time. For example, PC, tablet and mobile display running in TimeBlock™ fashion, optimized in real-time across screens based on key data sets (everything from the score of the game, to social sentiment of the brand’s TV spots, to campaign performance and more). Client “war rooms” like the Oreo example will become the norm, to bring key decision makers together with those who will execute the campaigns.
In the past, the Super Bowl TV spot was an end—the culmination of creative and media. In the future, the TV spot will just be the beginning of a campaign fueled by creative and media and supported by technology.

Eric Franchi

Eric Franchi is co-founder of Undertone and serves as senior vice president of business development, leading the company’s relationships with its most important partners. A respected industry leader, Eric has been featured in publications including Ad Age, Adweek and The Wall Street Journal, and on stages worldwide including IAB MIXX, Advertising Week and Cannes. He has held a place on the board of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) for several years, helping guide the digital advertising industry through a period of rapid growth and change.


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