Super Bowl XLVIII Predictions: A Debate About What Advertisers Will Do in 2014

The following is a friendly debate between Social Media Strategists Michael Mitchell and Jess Mimick about what to expect in this year’s Super Bowl ad war. 

Michael: “OMAHA…OMAHA…OMAHA!” Peyton Manning shouts, eyeballing the Seattle Seahawks defense as they shift  coverage before the snap.

“What does that mean anyway?” TV watchers say. Seconds later, they are playfully emulating Peyton aloud as if they themselves were under center, “OMAHA!”

They then turn to Twitter, where they find “#OmahaOmaha” is a national trending topic.

Soon, they might see a tweet from the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau, thanking Peyton for his in-game homage to the Midwestern city.

For this reason, I think TV commercials will be more interactive than in the past. Commercials will often prompt people to complete an interaction or see the rest of a cliffhanger on social media.

Jess: That was tried last year. Remember Coca Cola’s interactive race commercial? It was a swing and a miss. GoDaddy has also been trying this same tactic for years as well. Did you actually go online to watch the rest of the GoDaddy commercial featuring Danica Patrick and Julian Michaels?

While I think it is a good idea for companies to jump on board, I don’t think many will just yet. Social media is still considered the Wild West, where good intentions by a company can blow up in their faces. See #McDStories fail. I think most will continue to wait on the sidelines until the formula has been better tested.

Michael: Even though there are millions at stake, the Super Bowl is sort of an incubator for new marketing thought.

People’s expectations for interaction have changed. As Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain once rattled: “Here we are now, entertain us!” Sure all ads intrinsically sell, but there is so much invested in the viral and interactive element now, that I think it would be difficult to get everyone on board—Doritos, Budweiser, etc.—for a mere 30 seconds anymore.

These experiences (in 2014) are packaged to be much more immersive and fun—though there will certainly be those that come up short.

Jess: People’s expectations may have changed, and yes, I agree there will be tweets from individuals talking about the event, but I don’t see success just yet in an ad controlling the conversation online yet. Too many adverts = too much noise.

Oreo’s success was not because of their ad plan, but rather their ability to react to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I LOLed and ROFLed after watching the whisper fight commercial during 2013’s Super Bowl, but didn’t pick a side via Instagram as that commercial instructed.

I think any brand that tries to force a conversation about itself or its product has a high chance of being trolled.

My prediction: People will talk based on what they want to but without a formula for success. For now, it’s random. The social world is still the Wild West for advertisers. People will converse about the commercials and the game, and the winners will once again be the ads on TV that made us laugh, cry or cringe. Though, this will do little to create brand loyalty.

What do you think? 

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