For me, the Super Bowl was a great experience. My team won, I had the most amazing spicy guacamole to munch on during the game, and I had a great time with friends in person and online.
Disappointed, though? Yes. Not with the game, but with the advertisers and their so-called “social media integration” I had high hopes for brands this year… high hopes for this being the catalyst to transform television into the social TV of the future. What a big let down.
Advertisers spend multiple millions of dollars per spot for the chance to put their brand in front of a very captive audience. The audience always shows up – eagerly rushing to their televisions… and twitter… at kickoff to see the game and participate in #brandbowl. But this year, the Advertisers didn’t show up.
Coca-Cola promised a full interactive experience featuring its famous polar bears: Their sites were down – oops!
Acura was successful in spiking interest in their new NSX [very sexy car] but their website wasn’t ready for the traffic.
Toyota is under fire for their twitter campaign that sent unsolicited @ replies to users tweeting with hashtags related to the big game.
At first glance, Doritos seems to again be a winner. Their ads gained ground in the hearts of #brandbowl aficionados and lived up to expectations. They also had success with the online and social components of their ads.
And, it turns out that pre-releasing commercials didn’t take away anticipation, but brought more viewers and users through social media.
Of course it’s still too early to tell if Super Bowl advertising will impact sales and offer a justifiable ROI. Time will tell.
According to stats from ExactTarget the most popular tweet was from Mark Herzlich, a Giant’s player who has battled with and come back from cancer, who tweeted:
2 yrs ago I was told I’d never walk again, just walked off plane to #indy to play in #superbowl #takethatcancer
Proving that the surest way to consumers hearts (well, human hearts) is the emotional connection. Maybe next year advertisers will either step out of their corporate boxes and be truly innovative, creative or even just plain goofy… or embrace their story and find a connection to their customers that will ring throughout the social galaxy.
I’ve been a football fan since I attended my first game at 2 weeks old. [That’s right – I said “2 weeks old”] I don’t remember a time I didn’t love the sport. As a kid, my team wasn’t good enough to go to the Super Bowl, but I still remember the anticipation waiting for the big game every year.
My team didn’t make it again this season, but this year I have something else to look forward to: The SuperMediaSocialBowl.
Super Bowl 46 promises to score by diving in head first to social media. Brands are embracing content marketing, social community engagement and integrating social media into their advertising more than ever before.
Super Bowl Social Media Command Center
50 social media experts have been interacting with fans in real-time during the weeks leading up to the game. All the way through the big event they’ll scour the socialnet for tweets and posts containing selected keywords to respond and engage at a moment’s notice. Teams are participating in Google+ hangouts, and fans are already responding by flooding social channels with virtual cheers.
These are not your daddy’s Super Bowl ads
Brands are going beyond adding silly little social media icons to the bottom of the TV screens. Toyota will request hashtag participation via twitter and then respond in real-time to tweeting fans. No word who will end up naked in the GoDaddy commercials this year, but they will incorporate QR codes into their advertisements. Coca-Cola, no stranger to the world of social media, will debut their famous polar bears as official commentators during the game. Although skeptical about this approach, I am anxious to see how it is received and if Coca-Cola views it as a success.
The Super Bowl is always must-see TV. This year it will be much more than that. Some will be venturing out to sports bars. Others will be drinking beer, tailgating, or having Super Bowl parties decked out with team paraphernalia. As for me, I will be hunkered down at my own command central – 3 screens, a TV, and a smartphone – cheering my team on to victory – and, also pulling for the underdog, social media. My fingers are crossed this will be the year social media will finally show up strong and prove the naysayers wrong.
Realizing they’re arriving a little late to this party, entertainment marketers are scrambling to find new ways to join the social media event. From awards shows to the upcoming Superbowl, show check-ins via GetGlue and TV tagging with Shazam, their aim is to increase fan loyalty and audience viewership in order to [fingers crossed] see a positive ROI – but are they just spinning their wheels?
The one-Way Conversation:
TV Check-ins are popular and slowly sticking to the industry’s marketing plans. While offering value (of sorts), check-ins come up empty in other important areas. TV Tagging is fun and also offers value through exclusive video, playlists and the like. Games are interactive and offer competition among fans. Twitter and Facebook community destinations are commonplace. Google+ and Pinterest are gaining steam, and hashtags grace the bottom of nearly every television screen these days.
Steps in the right direction? Yes. These are tools to target your audience. These are great ways for your audience to interact with each other. They are not ways to engage in conversation. This is what your audience craves – a conversation… with you.
Integration and the Two-way Conversation:
Entertainment marketers have proven to be fairly good students in the rapidly changing world of social and digital media. There’s something they’re just not getting. It’s fair to note that it isn’t just the entertainment industry missing this point. Even early social media adopters miss the “conversation” opportunity. Here’s what they’ll need to get started:
1) Take a Risk… Be Creative
It’s hard to believe that an industry in the business of make-believe lacks imagination. Whether it’s a lack of education about social media or fear of investing the time, money and resources, it’s inexcusable. This is television’s moment. It’s do or die – literally.
2) Integrate – Engage – Interact
Thank you, television, for allowing us – your loyal audience – to tweet about you during your show. Why isn’t anyone tweeting back? Hello? Is anyone out there?
Networks must find ways to integrate social channels into their broadcasts, engage in real time, and encourage audience interaction. We are here. We are waiting.
3) Knowledge is Power
Let’s be honest, this is a massive undertaking. Television networks are not small. Programming is 24/7. This is not your father’s entertainment marketing. Hire knowledgeable leadership. Build passionate teams.
Listen. Learn. Create. Connect. Respond. Repeat.
Social media is capable of saving TV. It’s doing a pretty darn good job on its own, but it could use a little help. Television’s future is bright considering it could have easily been lost to social media or replaced by the internet. The industry just doesn’t completely understand how to capitalize on social media…. yet.
Hollywood awards season. This is one of two (or maybe three) guilty pleasures I allow myself in life without excuse. The film, the fanfare, the fashion… I can’t get enough. From the nomination announcements to the events themselves, I love it. And the fact that its kickoff overlaps the height of my other guilty pleasure (NFL football playoffs), Well… it just doesn’t get any better.
Over the past few years the industry has been diving deeper and deeper into social media to combine it with their live spectacles. This year the partnership between social media and the awards season has not disappointed. In fact, it may have changed the way we see the future of televised programming.
Entertainment blogs sent writers and tweeters to the events. Paparazzi and event-goers posted photos to websites and social networks like Pinterest. Television networks incorporated tweet-meters and “What’s hot” indicators. Live blogging has been everywhere from the nomination announcements to the red carpet arrivals and the events themselves. The fans have enthusiastically participated live with real-time comebacks to awards hosts’ witty remarks and live commentary about fashion hits and misses and celebrity faux pas. An adrenaline-filled, multi-channel, live-fetish, interactive media overload – and I can’t get enough.
Social media makes the awards ceremonies more fun to watch; but I would be watching anyway. This year more than ever, social media is encouraging non-awardaholics to tune in and even take part. Must-tweet = Must-see. Television is turning into a living, breathing channel not just for viewing but for engaging and interacting thanks, in part, to live programming like awards ceremonies and sporting events. Just wait and see what happens at the Superbowl during the multi-million dollar commercial breaks.
Just last night I noticed major networks adding on-screen, hashtagged keywords during programming. This is a good sign toward integration. But, only time will tell if this seemingly perfect relationship between social media and television will last. As rating successes continue for live events like the Golden Globes and the Superbowl, the industry will need to consider social media an important part of their programming decisions by creating and scheduling content that fans will not only watch, but tweet about and interact with.
This could signal a huge change in the way we’ve thought about the future of television. The networks and key players in the industry hold the future of this opportunity in their hands. Whatever the case, with the Superbowl and the Oscars right around the corner I’m in my happy place.
***The phrase “Must-tweet TV” coined by founder and CEO of Mashable, Pete Cashmore in his article The new goal: Must-tweet TV
In old Hollywood, movie premieres boasted a once in a lifetime opportunity to rub elbows with the stars in beautiful theaters adorned with murals, columns and sparkling chandeliers. They were big events. Following the premieres fans rushed to theaters everywhere to watch these films on the big screen in lavish theater environments. As technology progressed, so did the theater experience – surround sound, 3-D, computer generated graphics. With DVD distribution and further technological advances fans can now enjoy experiences outside of the theater that are more enticing than movie-going. This has created an interesting situation for studios and entertainment brands.
Enter stage right: Social Media:
This is where things get a little messy. SOPA and PIPA have been big news lately. The industry is fighting for their content, their longevity, their revenue streams. Other industries have been in this fight for a while already, and the way they have survived (if they have) is something that sounds a lot like “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
In the words of Brian Solis, this is “the end of business as usual” – and that goes for everyone… including the entertainment industry. The world discovers, researches, purchases, consumes, shares, and opinionates differently today – and they do it online. The world of online sharing does not equal the death of revenue or brand building. But, to continue to compete the industry must find a way to participate, form partnerships, roll up their sleeves and entertain us… online.
Lost in translation are the details of how to incorporate social media into the progression of the industry to ensure success rather than failure. This success is dependent on the industry embracing digital media, engaging fans, and making social media a must-see experience like the classic movies in old Hollywood.
Newsflash: Your fans are online –
Meet the fans where they are. Engage them online – be on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter – any and all applicable channels – have a blog, and be creative with online digital communications and collateral. Use traditional marketing data to know the fans and give them a unique, interesting experience.
Social media allows your fans to experience your brand on multiple levels and to develop a different kind of relationship with your brand. Your unique story is what they should experience through social media. You are unique – tell them why. Social media gives the industry the opportunity to engage fans and show them what they’ve been missing: behind the scenes, sneak peeks and interactive experiences that can make social the big event.
Just because social media is global doesn’t mean ignoring local and niche markets. Your company, your film, your subject matter – no matter how big or small – have audiences that offer a unique perspective and an enthusiastic loyalty – use it to connect with fans.
Like it or not, your brand is on social media – It doesn’t matter if you’ve set up a Facebook profile, have anyone managing your social brand or have implemented online strategies. Fans and media are talking about you online. If you were present in that conversation you would discover a new world of challenges, opportunities, conversations, loyalty… and revenue.
Amazing potential exists for the entertainment industry in the online world. The opportunity is there for an award-winning performance. Will you be nominated? Is your brand even on the ballot?
2011 was a year of epic celebrity engagement on social networks. Lady Gaga became the undisputed queen of Twitter and fans around the world follow her tweets; waiting with bated breath the see if the twitter queen will reply to or retweet their digital adorations.
Social media cannot be denied as a viable and effective channel for celebrity branding. Enter WhoSay, a new social platform already boasting more than 900 celebrity members. WhoSay aggregates content from a celeb’s social media accounts on his or her WhoSay Profile. The content on the site is copyrighted by the celebrity making it a useful way to disseminate statements, photographs and other breaking news. The Associated Press has recently formed a partnership with WhoSay so celebs can license content directly to the media through the new platform.
Social applications like WhoSay are popping up everywhere giving celebrities even more reason to engage through these new media channels… and they are. Hollywood’s A-List stars (Justin Timberlake, Bono & Lady Gaga to name a few) are devoting time & money to social business while celebs like Michael J. Fox are devoting their use of social media to drive awareness to causes like Parkinson’s research and other charitable organizations. Like any other business in today’s world celebrities know that they have to embrace new media to survive.
Even with these positive advances in the social world for celebs, 2011 was also been a year of epic celebrity failure on social media. Celebrities can’t stop themselves from spewing an inappropriate social stream of consciousness resulting in bad PR and a big mess for their publicists and managers. Celebs are using social media the same way the rest of us do, but their reach is far greater… and the damage far more costly.
From the novice celebrity tweeter to the Twitter-maestro himself Ashton Kutcher, celebrities are guilty of sending the wrong message. These social faux pas have proven costly both in terms of their finances and their reputations.
Social Media is PR in an instant. Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher have realized their brand can be damaged by a single tweet and have taken themselves of the social game. As much as fans and media crave these intimate, candid moments, social tools have to be used properly and with the same care and discretion given the other areas of their careers to be beneficial. What we must understand is that a celebrity’s brand can be damaged just as much by inappropriate management of their social brand as it can by handing over the management of that social brand to a handler.
The goal of social interaction is to connect with media, fans and friends and create stronger relationships, increase fan engagement and keep the star relevant n the media. These social relationships will not be effective if they are not delivered (at least partly) in the celeb’s own voice. The celebrity’s personal interaction must be carefully balanced with those of the handlers & managers monitoring their social channels. So, how can celebrities and PR professionals walk this fine line?
I have to wonder why celebrity social media has been left unsettled and ungoverned – dangerous & deadly – much like the wild west. Celebrity managers and publicists would never consider leaving any other part of a client’s business unplanned or without strategy. Social media is no different.
Social media is a real, viable, critically important channel for the world of entertainment and it’s time we start treating it as such. Fans & media already understand that managers & publicists play a large role in every aspect of the celeb’s brand… why not this one? We must be well-versed in the tools of new media. We must be completely aware of the risks involved and prepared to handle the consequences in real-time. News is made and reputations are damaged in a social instant. It’s high noon and there will be a shootout. Are you armed with a plan?