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Where Was the Social Media in the Superbowl?

Feb 6
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 03:  Official sign...


After watching the Superbowl yesterday, I was struck by how little social media was actually included.  There was so much hype about how social media was going to be SO incorporated this year.  They even had a social media command center for the event.  Every major social media advocate was anticipating how social media would be included in the advertising efforts of the brands choosing to purchase airtime at $3.5 million per 30 seconds.

Do you know what I saw?  Very little.  Sure they threw up their Facebook URL or their maybe a hashtag here or there.  But overall, there was surprisingly little social media calls to action!  There were no commercials that made me want to go to do anything other than simply enjoy the commercial and get a good laugh.  They missed the opportunity to take people from the TV and connect with them on Social Media.  There was a missing link, and that link is worth millions, possibly billions to the companies that can successfully do that.

Now, I know that there were a lot of social media things going on.  Sure, I could follow along on the Superbowl hashtag, watch and comment on the commercials on HULU, or see Coca-Cola bears react in real time to the Superbowl on their website.  But the people that are doing that, are already doing that.  The people that know about those things are already won over, are already fans, and are simply enjoying the social media lives that they live in.

That’s missing the point.  It’s not taking advantage of the money they are spending on the air time.  It’s not looking at the big picture.  And that’s what I think happened.  There was a HUGE disconnect between the TV ad people and the social media people.  Two departments, working on two different things, not integrating their efforts at all.

How effective could it have been if the TV ads were able to effectively integrate and drive traffic to their social media sites?  What about NBC?  How great would it have been to run the Superbowl hashtag on TV at various points throughout the game?  Do you think they could have gotten even MORE engagement from people watching the game?  And do you think that would translate into brand passion for NBC?  I certainly think so, and it’s unfortunate that they missed the boat on that.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the commercials, I love the Superbowl, and I find it all VERY entertaining.  But when I throw on my social media hat, I found it to be less than impressive.

Maybe next year (that goes for the Patriots too).

Stephen is Director of Operations at Katie Wagner Social Media. Before joining the agency, Stephen worked in Finance & Operations Management at two Fortune 100 companies and spent 5 years as a small business consultant.

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