The Super Bowl of Social Media? Maybe Next Year

Most of These Ads Could Have Run Before the Internet Was Invented

By Published on .

Ian Schafer
Ian Schafer
It's funny. I thought that going into this year's Super Bowl, advertisers would be so gung-ho about integrating social media into their commercials that it might get awkward.

Boy was I wrong.

As it turns out, the closest any brands got to integrating social media into their spots was the rudimentary Facebook URL.

And that has me scratching -- and shaking -- my head.

According to Lightspeed Research:

  • Nearly two-thirds of 18-34 year-olds planning to watch the Super Bowl have smartphones and intended to use them while watching the game.
  • Of those, 59% were planning on sending emails or text messages about the game, while 18% planned on checking out the ads on their phones.

There was not one spot that actually asked us to do anything. Or suggested that we do something. These ads could have all run before the internet was even invented. Nothing acknowledged that we had any other connections at our disposal other than the one between us and our televisions. We were expected to visit the brands' websites because we found those brands and their commercials interesting. Click here to rate them on social-ness.

Rate the spots for their socialness, and tell us what you think.
Rate the spots for their socialness, and tell us what you think.

Newsflash: most of us have already forgotten the brands the commercials were advertising.

Someone in the office joked that this year we were probably going to see a few Facebook commercials with a brand in them. There were barely brand commercials with Facebook in them. Brands used to buy spots on the Super Bowl to be perceived as more relevant. This year, they just looked out of touch by ignoring the medium that many people are using just as much as TV.

Running a Super Bowl spot is an opportunity to forge connections with millions of people who don't feel one way or another about your brand. It's an opportunity to start a relationship, to get people to opt into a CRM funnel that can last a lifetime. A measurable CRM funnel.

The irony is that those brands will look to social media to gauge their audiences' reaction. They'll count views on YouTube. They'll ask their interns about what Twitter had to say. Their PR firms will be watching the Google Alerts roll in.

But none of them will reap the benefit of actually building a meaningful connection.

Chrysler could have given the audience a social, charitable platform to help Detroit, a city in need.

Motorola could have identified individual early (?) adopters willing to "be different".

Coca-Cola could have actually helped some real people make some real people happy.

But alas, we were left with skits. And some commercials. Some commercials were skits. Some connected, but none of them built connections.

And that's a shame. Because at time like this, marketing needs to be about people. Not just crotch-kicks.

But what do you think? Did these spots deliver opportunities to live beyond the big game? Did they create a reason for people to not only connect with the brand, but each other?

Let us know. We're keeping score.

Ian Schafer is the CEO of Deep Focus, and can be stalked on Twitter at
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