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Super Bowl TV ads to unleash social media campaigns

If you’re dropping $2 to $3 million on a Super Bowl commercial to generate buzz for your company, you might want to throw in a social media campaign to capitalize on the conversation. That’s what an estimated one-half of Super Bowl advertisers plan to do this coming weekend. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the social tie-ins:

  • Budweiser has aired spots leading up to the game that challenge viewers to guess the plots of its 3 Super Bowl commercials. More clues are featured on Facebook. Guess correctly, and Bud will “unlock” a new commercial online.
  • Audi will air a commercial in the first quarter that sports its own Twitter hashtag.
  • Mercedes-Benz is running a “Tweet Race.” Four teams race to Dallas in Mercedes cars, fueled by how many times fans tweet using the hashtag of their favorite team. It’s all for a chance to win a new C-Class Coupe.
  • KIA will give away a 2011 Optima after offering contest clues on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Volkswagen will debut take-over ads on YouTube the day after the Super Bowl — when people are watching their favorite commercials again.

Social media helps advertisers capture more value beyond the 30 seconds, amortizing the tremendous cost of the TV ads. “With these teaser campaigns, they can get a lot more for their money,” said Emily Griebel with the McKee Wallwork Cleveland ad agency.

Lightspeed Research discovered that one-third of Super Bowl viewers with smart phones will be sharing messages via social media. “An impressive 45 percent of those with smart phones plan to use them during the actual game – that’s nearly double the number of those who anticipate using the internet from their home computer,” the survey found.

In fact, we’d venture to guess that the Super Bowl will be one of the most-tweeted events in Twitter history. You can read about more social media tie-ins in this Ad Age story.

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