Social to Play Second String on Game Day | Adweek
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The Big Game 2013

Social to Play Second String on Game Day

Marketers debate value of Twitter, Facebook in Super Bowl mix

While Facebook and Twitter are increasingly becoming an integral part of the Super Bowl marketing mix, there is a growing debate over their true value and effectiveness beyond generating buzz.

After GoDaddy.com runs ads in its ninth consecutive Super Bowl, Barb Rechterman, CMO at the Web domain company, said social stats would be examined for sentiment analysis and audience growth. Her company plans on teasing out one of its two 30-second spots via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. There also may be paid ads on a couple of those channels.

“We’ll have a plethora of metrics,” Rechterman said. “I like that. But at the end of the day, I am going to look at the traffic coming into our site and how that’s affecting sales.”

David Cohen, chief media officer at Universal McCann, said social stats will be fine for measuring digital conversation for Super Bowl automotive clients. But Cohen, whose clients include one such advertiser, Chrysler, echoed Rechterman’s point, saying on-site data such as visitors and actions taken matter much more to auto marketers.

“How many Facebook ‘likes’ a brand gets is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “You can actually tie on-site data to test drives and sales, and that is what clients really care about.”

Steve O’Connell, ecd at Red Tettemer + Partners, which helped Century 21 create its 30-second Super Bowl spot, suggested his client was focused on concepts that sound more lead-generation or long-tail than social. “We want consumers looking at Century 21 to find homes in the area and see what’s available,” he said. “Visits and time spent will be important data as we want people to begin the process of buying and selling homes.”

Meanwhile, Melanie Eyerman, a rep for marketing services firm thunder::tech, said that getting consumers’ email addresses “can be infinitely more valuable than a [Facebook] ‘like’ because now you have that person’s contact information and you can talk to them one-on-one.”

At the same time, CPG brands with spots running in the Super Bowl, such as Oreos, Wonderful Pistachios and Doritos, will likely be awash with Big Data, particularly social stats.

But few CPG brands will crunch more numbers than Pepsi, which is sponsoring the Super Bowl’s halftime show with new spokeswoman Beyoncé commanding the stage. Chatter on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest will be metered for brand equity, said Shiv Singh, PepsiCo global digital head, as will data from the brand websites, mobile apps and out-of-home digital. In addition, Pepsi plans to survey mobile consumers in the days after the game.

The abundance of data will help show Singh’s team whether the Super Bowl ads and halftime sponsorship were worth the spend.

“There’s a lot of tricks to winning the social media buzz wars,” Singh said, “but being a part of the culture in a way that extends brand equity is the effect we want to see.” 

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