Marketing Strategy, Media Mind, Social Networking

Why #Brandbowl Matters Just as Much as the Superbowl

photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhjohnston/
photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhjohnston/

Today, people around the world will be communicating on social media and sharing their ideas, snark, and observations about (arguably) the world’s most important day for advertising spend. Of course, we’re talking about the Advertisements shared during the Super Bowl. The fourth #brandbowl might be one of the best places to observe this phenomenon as it plays out in real time. The event, originated by Boston agency Mullen and now hosted by Boston.com, invites Twitter participants to share their thoughts about the $4 million spots that will be shown during the commercial breaks of the Super Bowl.

Why #brandbowl matters

There are two main things happening on Super Bowl Sunday: there’s a football game to determine the Championship of the National Football League and there will be many simultaneous parties happening where the largest single audience outside of the Olympics will be gathered to celebrate America’s unofficial national holiday over Wings and Beer. And there is a separate competition for bragging rights over the most striking advertising of the year, as agencies attempt to one up each other with sentiment, spectacle, and humor. (And there will probably be the usual smattering of movie trailers, in-house local ads, and “we couldn’t figure out what to do, so we ran an old ad” punts).

The Biggest Audience, so what should you show?

The Brand Bowl matters because it’s the biggest single mass audience any brand is likely to get in the age of the Internet. It’s the opportunity to break out and create a memorable national event on the order of Apple’s famous 1984 ad.

Except that most of the time, the ads shown in the Super Bowl are so strident (either in their interruption, their “edginess”, the quest to have an ad so sexy or violent that it’s “banned”, or just their general stupidity) or bland in their attempt to reach a mass audience that they are easily forgotten and don’t even trigger a memory of the brand at hand. The amount of money spent is staggering, when you consider that the $4m to get your ad on the air is just table stakes.

The Value of Real-time Conversation

So #Brandbowl is an amazing real-time narrative of that process to go along with the “official” Superbowl Ad result articles that will be paraded around in the coming days (and this year, many of the ads were released early so that they could be reviewed, and potentially build additional buzz even before the event.) It’s also the only place where you can get people trash-talking about commercials in real time. It’s entertaining, funny, and sometimes even sublime. I look forward to seeing you there today.

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