Super Bowl ads mix old and new media

If it seems as though messages from Super Bowl marketers are flying at you from every direction — even from inside Kim Kardashian ‘s private gym for Skechers — you may understand why many advertisers view Sunday’s Super Bowl as a tipping point for traditional media and social media.

Old media: 30-some advertisers will air about 60 TV commercials, having spent up to $3 million per 30 seconds of ad time in the Fox telecast expected to be seen by more than 100 million.

New media: Advertisers’ social-networking lead-up and follow-up to their game ads are going non-stop on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more — on phones, computers and iPads.

Not that the ads will be the best ever. It may be that 2011 Super Bowl advertisers now are so focused on spreading the message across so many media channels that many forgot to focus on the content of the central message itself.

But if the famous “1984” commercial for Apple ‘s Macintosh instantly changed the way Super Bowl ads were created, 2011’s game may be remembered for changing forever the way marketers expand their campaigns — via new media far beyond the ad they buy in the big Game.Who will win Ad Meter?

Visit on Sunday to view the ads and get the full results of USA TODAY’s Ad Meter. Ad Meter tracks the second-by-second responses of a panel of viewers to the ads during the Super Bowl and ranks them from best to worst.

“Welcome to the first Transmedia Bowl,” offers futurist Watts Wacker. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bud Light roving reporters in the stands, providing lucky fans with 15 seconds of fame through video feeds to their sites.”

Fox’s 30-second Super Bowl ad slots have been sold out since October — among the earliest sellouts ever. The ads may be old-style media, but even Groupon, the hotter-than-hot group coupon website that’s as new media as new media gets, has bought a slot to gain brand buzz.

“We know it’s ironic to use the offline world of Super Bowl advertising to build our brand,” says Rob Solomon, president of Groupon. “But we’ve done everything that you can do online.”

After some fits and starts in years past, marketers also seem to have figured out how to integrate new media into the Super Bowl effort. Instead of nudging viewers to static websites, they’ll steer them to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or smartphone and tablet apps, where folks can engage with the brands.

“It’s cosmically different, because it’s not just a TV experience, but a multichannel, multiplatform, deeply social experience,” says Shiv Singh, digital media chief at PepsiCo Americas Beverages, which, for the first time, has purchased an iPad-specific Super Bowl ad.

Think of it this way: nearly two-thirds of 18- to 34-year-olds planning to watch the Super Bowl have smartphones and intend to use them while watching the game, says Lightspeed Research. Of those, 59% will be sending e-mails or text messages about the game, while 18% will be checking out the ads online from their phones.

“This is the new water cooler,” says Ann Mukherjee, chief marketing officer at Frito-Lay. “People are not working at the office like they used to. Digital space is helping to re-create that human behavior of talking at the water cooler.”

As a result, most Super Bowl advertisers have spent months planning strategies. twenty years ago, strategy was about the TV ad itself. about a decade ago, the strategies began to be expanded to directing viewers to marketer websites for more information, games, etc.

Now, it’s all about using social media before the big Game to build brand buzz and attract viewers to watch a Super Bowl commercial, then using that spot to redirect viewers back to social media to talk about the brand and the message.Asking people to personalize, share

HomeAway, the online vacation-rental service, isn’t just running an ad in which a baby gets smushed against the wall in a crowded hotel room. It’s asking folks to upload family pictures in place of the baby’s picture on a special website, then share the pictures via Facebook or Twitter.

“We’ve taken personalization to a whole new level with this campaign,” says Brian Sharples, CEO.

A spot for the 20th Century Fox film Rio– featuring the angry birds from Rovio’s hit mobile game app, angry Birds– has an even more complicated intertwining of old and new media. The game ad will nudge viewers to pause the spot on their DVRs and watch it frame-by-frame to find an embedded code. The code gives access to a new level on the game app, where they then can enter a sweepstakes for a trip to Rio de Janeiro for the film’s premiere.

Then there’s Skechers.

“We hope to define this as the social Super Bowl,” says Leonard Armato, chief marketing officer.

Before the game, the shoe company has used Facebook and Twitter pages to tease folks with images — what Skechers calls “raw film” — from its Super Bowl ad shoot with a sultry Kardashian.

The ad is about heartbreak queen Kardashian, decked out in her Skechers, once again breaking someone’s heart. It’s Skechers’ second Super Bowl spot, and a long way from last year’s Joe Montana voice-over.

The ad will try to lure folks back to the Facebook page for yet more video outtakes from the ad shoot that will be posted after the game. Here, folks also will find a “customizable” ad of Kardashian — to be shared via Facebook — suggesting what the recipient of the ad needs to “break up” with, such as eating too many cheeseburgers.

The clincher: one person who posts the ad on his or her Facebook Wall will win a workout session with Kardashian.

Other outside-the-TV-box plans:

– Facebook mania.Anheuser-Busch has concocted a guessing game for its Bud Light brand that’s luring folks to the brand’s Facebook page before the game.

Two weeks before the Super Bowl, A-B posted screen grabs from its three Bud Light ads, encouraging consumers to guess what each ad is about. only those who figure out all three get special access to a “secret” Bud Light spot that others can’t see. The goal is to get Facebook users to share.

“People have to piece together the story,” says Gregg Billmeyer, vice president of premium lights at A-B. With about 1 million Bud Light Facebook fans, and with the typical consumer having about 100 Facebook friends, he says, “It becomes an exponential thing.”

– Post-game new media. For Audi, in its fourth Super Bowl, being in the game is as much about garnering attention for the brand after its 60-second spot airs as before or during the game.

So Audi is using Facebook and a Twitter hash tag in the ad this year to drive game viewers to tweet about the ad and check it out on Audi’s Facebook page. after airing of the spot, which contrasts old-fashioned luxury to hip new luxury, folks will be able to go to the Facebook page and “deconstruct” the ad frame-by-frame, says Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer.

The Facebook app will open to a “Luxury Estate Sale,” where consumers are urged to find examples of “old luxury” in the ad, says Keogh. The carmaker will randomly pick winners for prizes.

– Layers of multimedia. PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Doritos chip brand has built in layers of multimedia for this year’s Super Bowl that it’s never used before.

More than 21% of the brand chatter it received about its four consumer-created Super Bowl spots last year was via Twitter, says Mukherjee.

So this year’s “Crash the Super Bowl” consumer-made-ad contest is giving consumers the ability to share the videos on Twitter or Facebook.

Doritos also has created a Super Bowl YouTube channel for its finalists. “Instead of having to go to our website to play, we’re coming to your house to play,” explains Mukherjee.

The three ads that will air were picked from the finalists via consumer voting. and for the first time, votes could be cast via smartphones, which increased the number of votes 148%.

– IPad Bowl. PepsiCo’s Pepsi brand returns to the Super Bowl with ads for Pepsi Maxx after sitting on the sidelines last year to focus on its digitally based Pepsi Refresh Project. like Doritos, it will air three consumer-created spots.

If one of the Pepsi Maxx or Doritos spots wins the top slot in USA TODAY’s Ad Meter consumer rating of Super Bowl ads as they air in the game, the creators of the spot could win up to $2 million.

Pepsi also is eliciting consumer responses to its ads on Facebook.

Beyond that, says Singh, head of Pepsi’s digital, “We think we would be remiss if we didn’t have a marketing play around iPad.”

So, it purchased an interactive iPad ad on The Daily, a new, daily iPad newspaper created by News Corp. and Apple.

Why iPad? “IPad users are big trendsetters,” Singh says.

– Been there, done that. The undisputed champion of milking pre- and post-Super Bowl hype for consumer action is Go Daddy. It’s doing it again this year.

On its Facebook page, if you “like”, you get “fan-only content,” including behind-the-scenes footage from the filming of its always provocative Super Bowl spots. this year’s spots feature race car driver Danica Patrick and fitness guru Jillian Michaels for Web domain site and a Girl to be unveiled in a Super Bowl ad for the new site. on Twitter, Go Daddy fans are frantically guessing who the Girl is.

Year after year, Go Daddy has urged consumers to visit it online with the tease that they will see more there than its sexy ads can show on TV. and, every year, folks leave wanting more, a trick that predates new media.

“I have one goal every year,” says Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons. “To be the lowest of the low.”

Super Bowl ads mix old and new media

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