Commercials, Apps & Super Bowl XLVI

The Super Bowl is a great time to reflect on how much has changed over the past year (forget New Year’s!) Advertisers are willing to pay millions of dollars for a 30-second spot. Viewers across the country are actually paying attention (and looking forward to) the usually tuned-out commercials.  There is a football game in the mix as well- let’s consider football the constant variable in this equation.  The factor that has truly changed over the past year is the way viewers watch, respond, engage and share their experiences on social media. And this is what marketers are counting on.

According to the research firm Nielsen, about two-thirds of tablet and smartphone owners use their gadgets while watching TV. They tweet, they post, they check-in on what‘s referred to as their “second-screen.”  Marketers are thrilled! Imagine the possibilities for Super Bowl XLVI!  It was only a few years ago when Super Bowl viewers would excitedly wait to view commercials, which were kept highly confidential until the game.  The ads came, the ads went and people would talk about it for a few days. In recent years, marketers have been trying to get their money’s worth with pre-Bowl buzz. Many commercials to be featured on the big day have been building suspense with teaser ads.  For instance, here’s the teaser for a Star-Wars themed Volkswagen ad that will be featured on game day.

Some commercials have even been released in their entirety in hope to cash in on the pre-Bowl buzz. Will you watch early? Or will you resist? Haven’t we been conditioned for years and years to wait patiently for the commercial to be aired during the Super Bowl? Isn’t that part of the excitement of the Super Bowl?

Mike Sheldon of Deutsch L.A., the agency that created this year’s VW commercial, explains that viewers “like to be let in on the joke, let in on the story, early.” By doing this, viewers know which ads to look out for and pay close attention to.

In addition to traditional TV commercials, there are a slew of apps, promotions, and incentives allowing viewers to take their Super Bowl experience to the next level. Both USA Today’s Ad Meter and YouTube’s Super Bowl Ad Blitz let game-watchers vote for their favorite commercial. Ad Meter, which was started in 1989, is finally allowing participants to submit votes through Facebook.  NBC has partnered up with YouTube to bridge social media gaps through their Super Bowl Ad Blitz. For the first time, viewers will be able to vote on as well as the YouTube page.

Chevy’s Game Time app will provide viewers with trivia games, polls and prizes (granted they pay close attention to the Chevy commercials that air during the game.) NFL Pro Tweets will let Twitter users follow players and sports- media outlets throughout the game.  Other apps will keep game-watchers up to speed with the happenings of their favorite Super Bowl team, learn the history of the Super Bowl and view old Super Bowl commercials.

How will you watch the Super Bowl? Will you be using any apps this year? Will you sneak a peek at commercials before game day? Tell us how your Super Bowl viewing experience will change this year!

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