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Advertisers look to score with apps, Facebook

By Paul Harris

The Super Bowl has transcended the actual game of football. While the day technically centers around the game’s action, that is to many a formality. What people really wait on the edge of their seats for is the commercials.

The next big thing for Super Bowl advertisers is to figure out how to tap in to the power of social media.

For the first time in the history of the game’s event, the Super Bowl will be online for free at Users can also stream the game live on their Verizon phones. draws between 200,000 and 300,000 viewers during online broadcasts of regular season games.

Viewers can access multiple camera angles as well as DVR-style functions that allow users to rewind the game and look at replays in slow-motion.

Fans also will tweet during the game, post their reactions on Facebook, and interact with an international household of people. Some people’s eyes may never leave their phones or their tablets.

Social media is not a novel concept in the world of sports, but advertisers have started to think of ways to take advantage of the potential market during the big game. Coca-Cola will stream interactive polar bears live on the company’s Facebook page. One will wear a Giants scarf, while the other will wear a Patriots scarf, and the bears will cheer for their respective teams in real time, according to Business Week.

That magazine also reported that Chevrolet has a Super Bowl smart-phone app. Consumers will answer questions and respond to polls for a chance to win a Chevy Camaro, tires and pizza, among other prizes, according to the company’s website.

It’s expected that this trend will continue. Speculatively, the biggest and best commercials may not be featured on television, but online, as advertisers seek the best method to reach their potential audience.

Coverage of the game will be nearly an all-day event. The NFL Network will have a nine-hour pre-game coverage. NBC’s online broadcast will go live at 1 p.m. CST.

Aside from social media, there are other ways to interact during the game. Families and friends can play games pertaining to the commercials. 

Television commercials are still the biggest draw for some fans. NBC reportedly charged $3.5 million for a 30-second spot. Some companies, among them Doritos, MetLife, Volkswagen and Honda, even released their commercials for the Super Bowl early. Honda drummed up support for its ad, which features Matthew Broderick in a Ferris Bueller spin-off. The company posted a 10-second ad on in late January and released longer and longer versions of the ad before releasing the full advertisement on Thursday.

Kia released its full Super Bowl ad in theatres beginning in mid-January.


To make the night a little more interesting, you could write down the name of a Super Bowl commercial theme and place them in a hat for your houseguests to choose.

The themes could be insurance companies, animals, snack foods, beer or cars. When a commercial appears with one of those themes, the person with that particular theme is forced to do something like reveal an embarrassing fact about him or herself, do an embarrassing dance, or eat something. The act is something you can individually come up with.

Or, since so many companies have released their Super Bowl ads already, you could set up a trivia-style game, where party-goers receive a prize for answering questions correctly. The questions need to be simple enough so people are not missing the next commercial or even the game.

For the Matthew Broderick commercial, you could ask the name of Ferris’ friend, the type of car they took on their adventure, etc.

For the MetLife ad, since Snoopy is one of the company’s most recognized spokes-characters, it would be fair to ask who Snoopy’s bird-like friend is or who created the Peanuts comic strip.

Do not play these games with sports fanatics because your games will get in the way of the football game.

Those are some ways to get people’s eyes away from their cell phones during the broadcast. But that may become harder and harder with each passing year as social media plays a bigger role.

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