Super Bowl TV ads pay off by going viral through social video efforts

Super Bowl TV ads pay off by going viral through social video efforts

January 18th, 2013

By Jay Keller

Imagine a pint-sized Darth Vader whose attempts to use The Force finally work when he discovers a car in the driveway.The Force: Volkswagen commercial

Since it was first “discovered” on Feb. 2, 2011, “ The Force: Volkswagen commercial “ has generated at least 5.5 million shares on Facebook, Twtter or discussed in blog posts.

More specifically, that’s at least 5.1 million shares on Facebook, at least 432,000 Tweets, at least 4,000 blog posts, generated 62 duplicate videos and nearly 40,000 comments.

An ongoing advertising dynamic for this year’s Super Bowl has forced marketers to look for ways to make their big TV investments not only work harder but to pay off, especially through social media platforms.

Many advertisers, however, have yet to embrace the opportunity “social video” advertising presents to bolster and prolong in-game TV advertising.

At least two companies, Unruly Media and Collective, are showcasing the power of social engagement in the retail sector.

Unruly Media, the company who maintains the Viral Video Chart, which rates among other things the Greatest Super Bowl Commercials of all time, measures social media interactions and the potential for converting advertising dollars.

Collective, on the other hand, has built its own product called TVA Channels to allow marketers to reach top TV show audiences – 100 percent of U.S. Zip Codes — through digital buys.

This includes the Super Bowl but also offers the same marketing opportunity to “own” other yearly events each like the Grammys and March Madness or American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.

Unruly says the proliferation of social media outlets and user-generated content, both sponsored and unsponsored, have created a “new set of levers marketers can pull to improve ROI and campaign success.”

Over the past decade, according to a white paper by Unruly Media, the NFL’s global audience is one of “massive fan engagement sparked by fantasy football platforms, fan sites and insider blogs.”

More importantly, this makes NFL fans one of the largest, most-engaged social media audiences as well.

Unruly’s research has found that for every “branded video shared an average of 25 peers could see that content.”

This validates the potential for “enormous global media reach” where consumers are willing to spend more than 30 seconds interacting with a brand’s content.

In 2013, the cost of a single 30-second, in-game spot in Super Bowl XLVII is just over $4 million.

“Television remains the undisputed advertising medium of choice,” Collective writes. “Advertisers are moving towards owning major TV events where they know viewers are most engaged.”

Ironically, the 10 most-shared ads from 2012 during Super Bowl XLVI, were on average 83 seconds long, which is 31 seconds longer than the top shared ads in 2011 during Super Bowl XLV, according to the Unruly white paper, which has been tracking video sharing across the social web since 2006.

“Last year, shares of social videos increased nine-fold to a staggering 1.1 billion, as more and more people actively searched for content to share with their friends and peers online,” Unruly writes in their social video advertising playbook.

That’s an increase of 129 percent in branded video shares between 2011 and 2012.