A New Armchair Quarterback – For Ads

We’re all used to the Super Bowl commercial hype – what ad will shock us, make us laugh or make us wonder what they were thinking when they spent millions for 30 seconds of GoDaddy body painting with Danica Patrick. This year, ad agencies are upping the ante and involving consumers in their annual brawl for best ad. It may seem like just another way to get more attention between plays, but marketing has changed radically in the last several years and there are some very compelling reasons to get consumers involved ahead of time. We’re seeing it in PR, too. The power of the people now rivals the power of the media – and getting media exposure paired with people sharing, tweeting, pinning and favorite-ing your latest message means a communications touchdown.

With the recent news that auto makers have released their commercials online ahead of the big game, even asking consumers to vote on which one will appear on February 3rd, it’s a good time to explore what might be behind this decision.

Increased focus on ROI: Anyone in communications these days knows that clients are demanding ROI more than ever – and with more specific data.  The ability for digital tracking of online views and reTweets allows us to help see what’s working (and what isn’t.)  If you can get consumers to tell you what they like most, you’ve just increased your chances of having a successful and memorable 30 seconds come Sunday.

The new WOM: Social media is essential to message penetration. Advertisers now have to think about how their ads can easily be shared through the “other screens” as detailed in a recent Bulldog Reporter article. Similarly, a publicist’s job has always been to spark word-of-mouth communications.  Through engagement on social media, we now have even more ways of building the all-important buzz factor.

Shelf life: As pointed out in this NBCNews online article, adding online access means the ability to get more for your money and broaden opportunities to share your message. Online presence means consumers can access your message anytime, rather than sitting in front of the TV (or in PR, reading an article.)  In the case of the Super Bowl, it gives advertisers a second chance to get in front of a consumer who might (gasp!) DVR the game and fast-forward through commercials.

With the Pats out of the running this year, I have to admit that the commercials may be my favorite part of game day entertainment. Go Audi!

--Regan Dillon, Senior Account Supervisor, @reegs_1

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