Looking Beyond Super Bowl Advertising

One week ago today those of us in the advertising business were rapidly trying to keep tally of the marketing analyses coming out of Super Bowl Sunday. That and, after literally working through the night, catching up on sleep.

At Colle+McVoy, our third year of Super Bowl advertising research unearthed some similar social media findings as what we learned in our second year of looking at the meaning behind the data of Super Bowl chatter. For instance:

  • Pizza reigns supreme. More than wings, dips and other forms of sustenance.
  • You don’t necessarily have to advertise in the game to be mentioned or referenced during the game.
  • It isn’t always just about the ads.

After looking for some specific, deeper truths we were also able to say a few things in 2012 we simply didn’t know enough to ask of our analyses in 2011:

  • If the Papa John’s “Coin Toss Experience” is any indication, event marketing can be just as–if not more–impactful than running traditional advertising during the Super Bowl. The product placement helped the brand edge out Pizza Hut–which had purchased ad space during the pre-game show–by seven share points.
  • Ease trumps depth. Sure, you can say a lot more in a blog post, and back-and-forth discussion is more natural in a message board or forum. But when it comes to ease and immediacy, sporting enthusiasts run to Twitter. The microblog accounted for an estimated 97% of all content relevant for our Super Bowl queries. Blogs, forums and traditional news sites had equal share of the rest.
  • Given Twitter’s role, then, marketers will be intrigued (worried?) by a finding that might show how microblogging participants won’t necessarily adopt the hashtags set up as the “official” monikers for events or campaigns. No matter that #sb46 required fewer characters and was, therefore, the hashtag that made the most sense for Super Bowl tweets; fans this time around preferred the much longer options. Super Bowl Tags for Twitter
  • This is where we’d cue the expected comment referencing marketers’ concerns about lack of control in the social media space. It’s also, this time around, where I would air a theory that big game or event days might draw the novices out onto Twitter. (Just look at the character savings and hassle mitigation to be had with #sb46! Only a Twitter novice would miss that or simply not care, right?)
  • Along with the use of hashtags to promote [Twitter] campaigns during the game comes a broader finding that is perhaps more frustrating. Especially given the longevity of Super Bowl advertising now that all the spots are available for viewing on YouTube’s adblitz and elsewhere, the absence of digital or social references in the ads was shocking. We calculated less than three-quarters of spots included a site URL. Well less than a quarter included Twitter or Facebook. (While other sources cited digital and social integration rates much higher than what we found, I can’t help but look at methodologies as the cause of those differences. And anyway, inclusion of digital/social properties is different than truly connecting with audiences to do something there, as this great ReadWriteWeb post makes clear.)

Why not take a spin through the data on your own? There’s a lot to dig in to when it comes to SuperChatter. Perhaps you’ll see something in the numbers that begs of even further questioning when it comes to Super Bowl XLVII.


Robots Do Not Smile

Two days of high temps and humidity, and some of us are already longing for the season just passed. I’m not going that far yet, but it’ll be too bad if spring forsakes us in favor of an early summer.

Either way, the seasonal change made me want to dust off my old Colle+McVoy ¡Futurismos! team soccer jersey for work today.

It’s the first time Amelia had ever seen it–or the first time she remembered it anyway. She LOVES stickers so the team insignia patch drew automatic interest.

Through the eyes of my daughter I learned something about robots. Or myself.

D: “Amelia, who is that on my shirt?”
A: “You, Daddy!”
D: “Why do you think that’s me?”
A: “Because it isn’t smiling.”

Point taken: There will be much smiling on my face this afternoon. Half-day at the office this morning = time with the kids this afternoon.

Work on a Cloudy Day

I’ve been in a few discussions at the office lately on the subject of collaboration. How can we be even more inclusive than we’ve become particularly since the agency’s move downtown let us work from a new workstation floor plan? How can we be more efficient with our file sharing?

At the same time, there’s been a lot of chatter about cloud computing of late. Particularly with last week’s ad:tech conference in San Francisco (covered by a team of my coworkers from Colle+McVoy on this blog) and the Ad Age Digital held in New York the week before that (also covered by coworkers, here). No doubt, the recent launch of iPad–which relies on the ‘Net much like, if not more than, the MacBook Air–is helping drive even more project traffic into the cloud.


Image courtesy of turtlemom4bacon (Flickr image 2046347762)

With this as my backdrop, I decided to check out some clouds of my own as I kicked off  a new assignment last week. My version of cumulonimbus? Google Docs and Google Wave. Two cloud computing applications which I’ve heard plenty about–the former more than the latter–but which I’ve never actually used myself.

The main project requirement that makes this new assignment particularly suitable to stick up into a cloud? Multiple teammates at the office need to access, contribute to and share this work. And, particularly at the outset, we all need to make sure we’re on the same page as far as the details. Sending around a document for member-by-member update/review is not efficient. And with some team members traveling a bit over a specified period of time, VPNing in to the server isn’t most ideal.

My initial thoughts:

  • Bummed Google Docs doesn’t let users track their updates the way we’ve grown accustomed seeing updates displayed/printed in Microsoft Word.
  • Excited that Google Wave apparently has a better tracking functionality than Docs.
  • Bummed Google Wave is taking such a long time to approve the new teammates I’m adding to the project wave.

So after the first three days…

Cloud 2 : Mandle 1

But I’m awaiting the official start to the work week tomorrow morning in the hopes that I can change this score big time.

En Masse

Earlier this week we had a visitor speak to us at Colle+McVoyAlex Bogusky–who made his name and then some leading the creative department at Crispin Porter + Bogusky. (Disclosure: CPB, like C+M, is owned by advertising agency holding company MDC Partners which, in a way, is my true employer.)

In a past life, my agency superiors more or less grilled us to look down on the work at CPB because, unlike the hot Miami shop (only one office at the time), we were focusing our client efforts on print only. I’m glad to have moved well past that. It makes for better client success, better agency output and less animosity in our industry. (And since we’re all playing for the same team now, it’s a helluva lot easier!)

The Twitter stream from the talk Alex gave provides a summary < 140 characters. But it didn’t capture one particular idea that came out of the session. Alex at one point said something about CPB making it easy to do good work by having faith in small teams. It’s an idea C+M’s Craig Pladson has also supported, as recently as this post from him earlier this week. The point was that smaller teams are more capable of coming to the right decisions sooner and, due to their size, typically come up with better ideas.

I agree. But how did we get to a stage where a struggle is needed to cull down our meeting sizes? If meetings eat in to our coworkers’ schedules and keep them from completing their own to-do lists, why did we start overlooking their needs and adding to their itineraries? How did we begin to clamor to get into more of them ourselves?

Those questions were rolling around in my head until later in the week, when I’d participated in two separate meetings of my own–both for work. In both meetings I learned that some of my projects’ production schedules needed to account for creative review time. Lengthy creative review. As in, more than five people–none of whom were involved in the strategic development of said creative.

When probed, my meeting partners mentioned the importance of collective buy-in. And then a light went off in my head: crowdsourcing.

One of the current buzz words of digital marketing: Crowdsourcing. The act of  tapping the wisdom of the many in the interest of developing the best, most well-thought-out [insert service, product, idea, etc. here]. It’s worked great for Dell, Threadless, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and others. But the rationale behind these examples of “mass collaboration” is the same philosophy that may be used to qualify the need for big, long work meetings staffed with multiple individuals. This rationale assumes that if it works online, it should be replicated offline.

But how many of us really agree with replicating that way?