Watching the Super Bowl? Chevrolet's got an app for that .
General Motors' Chevrolet, which is expected to run several ads during NBC's Super Bowl broadcast on Feb. 5, is releasing an app for mobile phones and tablets that it hopes will give it entree to consumers' social-media activity during the gridiron classic.
The Chevy Game Time app -- available in the Android Market, Apple's App Store and at chevy.com/gametime by the start of the NFL's NFC Championship game this Sunday -- will pose trivia and poll questions on subjects including the game, teams and commercials. Consumers who answer trivia correctly or choose the most-common poll answer will be entered into drawings to win one of thousands of prizes from Chevrolet as well as Bridgestone, Motorola, the NFL and NFLShop.com, Papa John's Pizza and Sirius XM Radio. Everyone who downloads the app will also receive a unique "license plate" number. Consumers whose numbers match any plate in Chevy's Super Bowl spots will win a vehicle.
Chevy is trying to take advantage of consumers' demonstrated digital engagement during big events. "We know people tweeted massively during last year's Super Bowl using mobile devices," said Andrew Dinsdale, assistant director-Chevrolet digital and DRM, in an interview.
Chevy's Super Bowl app also reflects marketers' desire to get the most out of the average $3.5 million that advertisers are paying for Super Bowl ad packages. Advertisers in the game are increasingly trying to wring extra value from digital and social channels.
"This is the first time any company has attempted such a large-scale app which will enhance the game-watching experience and help them engage in the online conversation about the Super Bowl," said Joel Ewanick, General Motors' global chief marketing officer, in a statement. "The way people watch TV has changed with smartphones and tablets helping viewers interact while in front of the screen. This app takes that interactivity to a whole new level on one of the biggest days for television viewing."
Chevrolet was earlier rumored to be attempting to get other Super Bowl advertisers to put its vehicles in their commercials so that viewers could spot them at home and try to win prizes -- an effort that would have broken several long-held TV rules about how Super Bowl advertising is sold and placed. Mr. Dinsdale said that idea was not understood properly and not related to this app initiative.
In an attempt to measure activity, Chevrolet will monitor the number of downloads as well as consumer activity within the app, Mr. Dinsdale said. He said Chevrolet hoped the mobile app would reach casual fans of football and the Super Bowl, even those who spend more time in the kitchen than in the living room during the game.