Friday 30 September 2016

Friday Five: The Social Media Bowl

Why It Matters, by Aniz Ruda

Social media has become the “talk track” to many live events, whether they are televised or occur halfway around the world, allowing the viewer to become a participant. It has kept us engaged on election results and sporting events like the 2012 Summer Olympics. With the “Big Game” upon us, there will be more to watch beyond San Francisco’s and Baltimore’s best on the field. Advertisers will be paying an average of $3.7 million to secure a spot for one of the most televised events of year. For ad buyers, the real game takes place during the stoppages in play.

With that in mind, here are five items to keep an eye on that could play a role in sparking online conversation, capturing consumer mindshare and driving stories the following day.

1. Pre-Game Ads

When it comes to commercials for the Big Game, the pre-game ad is the proverbial ignored middle child. Pre-game ads do not receive the glitz and media coverage of its big spending siblings but they still make an impact. In 2012, The Hunger Games trailer premiere sparked social media conversation and buzz among fans that lasted well into the first commercial break.

2. Identifying The Call to Action

What are the ads suggesting we, as consumers, do after the commercial is over? Is there a hashtag? Should we go on Facebook, YouTube or a branded website? The point: a clear call to action can resonate with the viewer, providing an avenue to learn more and increase the reach of the brand. As an analyst, it would be interesting to know how many viewers found the ad compelling enough to become a fan or follower, or otherwise inspire someone to interact with the brand around the day of the Big Game.

3. Integration with Marketing Campaigns

So your organization purchased air time, came up with great creative and developed a compelling ad – now what? Many companies use the momentum from their ad to influence marketing programs throughout the year. Volkswagen* gained high praise for this 2011 ad and leveraged the positive sentiment for it throughout the year.

4. Converging Media

Use of social media apps on mobile devices (“second screen”) is increasing. According to The Wall Street Journal, phone users spend 24 minutes per day using social networking apps. Mobile devices will keep people connected for those attending parties on Sunday with Twitter and Facebook supporting the majority of social conversations. It will be interesting to see how brands develop creative content and enhance it through sponsored stories and promoted tweets.

5. Command Centers

A trendy term, but what are they “commanding” necessarily? Social media command centers are ideal for real-time listening and monitoring. But there is more to a command center than monitoring conversation spikes and reporting out general volume. This year, keep an eye on how companies will use real-time events and conversation trends to inform content design and engage with their fan base, as well as what kind of story will be woven from the data that is collected.

On Monday, there will be an inevitable flurry of articles and online posts championing the winners and losers of the “ad bowl,” and the same for social media. The above are just a few emerging themes worth keeping an eye on in the Digital space. But let’s not forget, there is a football game being played on Sunday. Which brand ads and activations are you most excited to see this Sunday?

*Volkswagen is an Edelman client

Image credit: danxoneil

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