The 2011 Super Bowl Commercials Were Less Than Social

The hype before the Super Bowl claimed that this years group of ads would be pushing social. The new way for big brands to communicate with their audience with a new way to achieve a positive ROI...which can be tough given the cost of a 30 second spot. One benefit of a social promoting ad is that if you reach your audience and get them to follow you, will be be able to continually communicate with them months after the Super Bowl.

To My Surprise...

I did not see very many brands promoting their Facebook page or Twitter profile, that is the brands that were able to be seen through the swarm of Doritos commercials. On any given day of the year I see commercials that tell the consumer to find them on Facebook before giving them a URL. Bud Light promoted their Facebook page and Mercedes Benz is using Twitter in a unique ways, but while I did not study every ad, there was not a big push to increase social.

What About the Tech Companies?

Overall I felt that the tech companies really missed the boat this year. GoDaddy appears to be going backwards with their commercials, SalesForce was less than appealing, Groupon may have lost more than they gained, and Living Social's ad was less than stellar. I really thought the tech companies would try and push social because they understand the power...in particular Groupon and Living Social.

Before The Super Bowl

Although the commercials themselves did not promote social very heavily, ad previews were powerful and will continue to grow. There were several commercial previews hitting the social channels prior to even being seen during the game. The one that rose above the rest was the Volkswagen commercial using the little boy dressed as Darth Vader. I checked the views on Sunday which held at nearly 10 Million...a small drop in the bucket compared to the actual commercial, but VW did not have to pay for a spot on YouTube and did not have to pay everyone that shared the video. Definitely a good start for them. The effectiveness of the ad is hard to say, but the commercial will be talked about for awhile.

After the Commercial Aired

Without urging the consumers there was a lot of talk about the commercials in the social world. People talking about the Audi commercial used the #progressIS tag to create a trending topic. And without a doubt there was a lot of talk about Groupon's not quite politically correct use of the Tibet topic and the ever so touchy saving the wales topic. This goes back to the question, is any press good press? Groupon is matching donations to both of these causes, but was their tongue-in-cheek commercial not quite understood by the masses?

In the End...

It turns out that the commercials were heavily talked about in the social world, but how many advertisers got new followers? I think they may have been over-shadowed by discussions about Christina Aguilera, The Black Eyed Peas and the actual game. I think the future will see a lot more ad previews, a heavier push to use hashtags to create trending topics about a product, and contests through social that are announced during the commercials. I was amazed to see that the commercials that everyone thought would create a "Social Bowl" ended up being less social than they were any other day. Maybe next year.

What Was My Favorite Commercial?

It's a tough call on this one. I really enjoyed the CareerBuilder.com commercial...

The Bridgestone Commercial...

What were your favorites and what social signals did you see that I have missed?

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