Leveraging Social Media for the Super Bowl

Image: SAP
Image: SAP

Die-hard pigskin fans will disagree, but for PR pros and communicators, the Super Bowl is just as much about how brands capitalize the big game as it is about the Broncos and the Seahawks. Each year, brands strive to outdo themselves and each other in an attempt to influence what is the world’s largest TV audience.

Many brands are looking to recreate the success Oreo had during last year’s Super Bowl when the lights went out. For Super Bowl XLVIII, several brands are executing clever social media campaigns to either leverage their pricey advertising buys or keep pace with global companies that have the cash to throw down for a 30-second Super Bowl spot. Here are a few examples:

  • Newcastle Brown Ale – Since Anheuser-Busch InBev is the exclusive beer sponsor during the game, Newcastle found a way to get in on the action by posting this YouTube video: “The Mega Huge Football Game Ad Newcastle Brown Ale Almost Made.”
  • Jaguar – The luxury automaker will supplement its 60-second halftime spot with a broad social media push that will carry on throughout the game.
  • AXE – Long known for ads containing “frat boy” humor, AXE is looking to rebrand itself with AXE Peace. Its “Make Love, Not War” Super Bowl ad, which has garnered more than 3 million views since premiering on YouTube on Jan. 14, is part of a larger campaign that encourages people to tweet kissing pictures, with the chance of having their photo featured on a Times Square billboard.
  • Adobe – The software manufacturer will employ its analytics tools to track game-time social media and announce a winner of the evening’s social media marketing efforts via video.
  • Ford – The automaker’s game day ad actually appears between the coin toss and the kick off, so, technically, it's not a Super Bowl ad (which saves the company a pretty penny on advertising). Instead, Ford shared a teaser of its pre-game ad with its 3,000 dealerships and encouraged them to share it via their social media channels.
  • Priceline – The travel-booking site is all about saving time and money. So it will reinforce that message by posting a series of ads on Vine featuring puppets reenacting Super Bowl ads from other brands.

Follow Richard Brownell: @RickBrownell