The Super Bowl: Ultimate Proving Grounds for Integrated Marcomm Campaigns

The 2013 Super Bowl, now less than a month away, is not only the crescendo of the NFL season, but also the biggest stage for brands to showcase their products through coveted advertising spots during the game.

But long gone are the days when a brand's "big reveal" occurred during the game itself, as each brand seeks to increase the lifespan of their ad by previewing and extending them through integrated marketing and PR campaigns. 

According to USA Today, the Super Bowl advertising line-up is all but filled—CBS only has two 30-second Super Bowl ad slots left to sell, and those could be gone at any moment.

For those brands fortunate enough to have the budget to place ads, like M&M Mars, Volkswagen of America and Coca-Cola, which are all on the 2013 docket, the game represents an opportunity for PR 101 on the highest scale: the integration of paid and earned media, with communications of course being responsible for the earned media segments.

Whether it's finding a unique angle to pitch reporters before the game, planning branded events (and delivering invitations to the media) leading during Super Bowl Weekend in New Orleans or heavily using social media in advance, the onus is on PR to maximize those ad dollars. Opportunities include Media Day, in which brands can land brand spokespeople (particularly if they are former players) on shows on Radio Row, among others. 

In order to extend the life of their ad campaigns, brands are now purposely "leaking" them out before the game. With the ad spots now reaching an all-time high of around $3.8 million per 30-second slot, reports USA Today, it makes sense for brands to publicize the ad early through social media-based video content and try to extend the chatter afterward. You can expect brands to use hashtags more than ever (and probably even more than URLs) within commercials in order to extend the buzz on Twitter (or Instagram) after airing. 

In the "7 Principles for Building Buzz Equity," PR News editor Scott Van Camp wrote that "before a brand can generate buzz, there are some imperatives to put into play: The three S’s—social voice, storytelling and social currency (valuable information that will induce a person to want to be the first to share a post or a video)." Look for these S's to show up ready to play before, during and after Super Bowl Sunday more than ever before. 

Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg