For those of you who may not know, Super Bowl 49 took place last night and I am a big NFL fan. Even better is that my team, New England Patriots was playing last night and managed to take the win so I am over the moon with joy this morning!
However, a large part of the game now is advertising. In fact, certain people in America tune in to the Super Bowl just to watch the commercials and they know little to nothing about the sport. With social media playing a larger role in how we watch live TV, there is a huge potential to reach more viewers than ever before.
Getting a commercial during the Super Bowl is prime time as there is an audience of over 100 million viewers watching the game globally. If you want your ad in the Super Bowl it is going to cost you big time, $4 million for a 30 second spot and $8 million for a 60 second spot.
Then you have to pay money to produce the ad. However the platform is even bigger now than the 100 million TV viewers and that is thanks to social media. One of the more commonly discussed things last night on Twitter during the Super Bowl, apart from the game itself, was the adverts.
In fact social media generates so much hype around Super Bowl week now, producers of these ads actually put out teasers during the week leading up to the game. Thats right…teasers…for ads…
Consumers often have their smartphones and tablets handy, and they interact with these devices during the game and the commercials. The challenge is to find a way to meaningfully engage the consumer as opposed to being the brand that nobody wants to listen to.
The Super Bowl is the advertising stage to be on if you are a big brand, so what happens, after spending all that money, you get a different reaction to what you may have expected?
Well as we know by now, get it wrong on TV and Twitter reacts and the Nationwide advert certainly provoked a reaction last night during the Super Bowl. Nationwide actually got off to a good start with their first ad which featured Matt Damon and Mindy Kaling.
Not a bad advert, it is light, grabs attention and has stars present. However, Nationwide then aired their second advert later in the game and that ruined the whole feel good vibe that was going on. It started with a kid talking about how he’d never get married and then the big reveal: He’s dead.
Twitter reacted, and not in a good way.
Overheard in Nationwide advertising meeting: "Yeah, these are okay, but do you have anything where we can kill a kid?"
— Eric Stangel (@EricStangel) February 2, 2015
#Nationwide: "We killed an actual kid for this commercial just so you could understand we mean business."
— Elon James White (@elonjames) February 2, 2015
— David Brody (@David_Brody) February 2, 2015
Nationwide says "Enjoy the Halftime Show!" pic.twitter.com/VGesJZBWlN
— Dan O'Donnell (@DanODradio) February 2, 2015
However despite the negative reactions going around on Twitter, the idea of an advert is to spend brand awareness and get your message out there. Get people talking about your company or product, so while many may not have thought that the commercial was in good taste, it did in fact achieve the objective – people were talking about it.
It is a perfect example of how fragile the audience reaction can be on social media, one moment they are with you and the next moment they are against you, however the important thing is to get people talking and Nationwide certainly achieved that last night.
I wonder if they will look back on the social media reactions and wonder if it was $4 million well spent?