Forget what all those ad executives tweeting on #brandbowl and #whartonfoa told you last night: There were 87 commercials during last night's Super Bowl, but very few of them failed to meaningfully connect their message to their social media platforms.
The ad execs praised the use of Twitter hashtags, even going as far as saying the hashtag was to 2012 what the URL was to 2000, one year after Victoria's Secret became the first ever firm to use a Super Bowl ad to connect viewers to its online media. But posting a hashtag in a commercial and getting viewers to take some sort of action that increases brand affinity are two different things, according to an anlysis released Monday by Resource Interactive.
Coca-Cola, for example, aggressively encouraged people to watch the game withs its fame polar bears on Facebook and Twitter in the days and weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. But come game time, none of the soft drink makers three television spots included a URL or mention of the social media end of the campaign.
"Consumers don't think in channels (traditional, digital, mobile, social). Coca-Cola failed to make its multi-channel experience simple and seamless," said Lora Schaeffer, Resource Interactive director of social media.
Altimeter was surprised that many brands didn't include some call to action in their commercials. According to the firm's day-after analysis, 32% had no references to Websites or social media sites, And only Best Buy had an "Act Now" promotion, offering people who visited its Web site $50 off a mobile phone purchased in 2012.
"Viewers visiting the BestBuy.com site were immediately presented with the opportunity to sign up for the offer and the brand created a sense of urgency by limiting the offer only to those who sign up by Feb. 12," said Jessica Ried, Resource Interactive director of commerce strategy. "Acknowledging that not everyone is eligible to buy a new phone at this very moment, the offer includes an opt-in notification for new phone eligibility which was a smart move by Best Buy. Many brands with shorter purchase cycles failed to provide any meaningful reason to act."
Other big winners in terms of connecting a television commercial to an online presence were car makers Chevy and Chrysler, although the two firms took decidedly different approaches. Chevy heavily promoted an app before and during the game, and added a contest that included 20 brand new Chevys as prizes to entice viewers to download a mobile app.
"Chevy kept their brand relevant and quite literally at the fingertips of consumers throughout game," Schaeffer said.
Online observers may have missed Chrysler's connection to social media, as its somber, Halftime In America advertisement featuring Clint Eastwood had no social or online branding. But after the game, Chrysler was able to continue the conversation about the campaign on Twitter on #halftimeinamerica, according to Resource Interactive.
"Without tricks or hooks, the brand built upon the energy of last year's spot, and quickly leveraged Twitter to continue the heat-felt campaign," Resource Interactive said.
Only six ads used hashtags in lieu of a Website or social media site, but those ads were notable because they did not ask viewers to like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Instead, they asked for viewer interaction.
"This sea change in tactics is an indicator of how brands want to extend the experience beyond the expensive 30 second Ad to an ongoing permanent discussion," Altimeter's Jeremiah Owyang said in a blog post about the firm's analysis of Super Bowl ads.