Monday, February 08, 2010

Attention big brands, we had a blast on Twitter last nite, but where were you?

If you were on Twitter last nite during the Super Bowl, you probably had a blast with the rest of us participating in all the chatter around the game, and the commercials. Many of us were using the #brandbowl hashtag to critique the ads in real-time, in fact I was seeing 100 new tweets coming in every couple of minutes. For reference, that's about FOUR times the volume of a busy #blogchat.

But one thing many of us noticed was that the companies buying these very expensive Super Bowl ads, weren't doing anything to engage with us. I didn't see a single ad with a reference to the company's social media presence (someone tweeted that Honda's ad had their Facebook URL, but I missed it). And the only activity I saw during #brandbowl were a couple of companies (Coke and eTrade) tweeting that their spot was coming up.

For all the hype that Twitter has gotten for being mainstream, and all the talk about how big brands are starting to leverage social media, tonite was a cruel reminder that many companies still have little idea of how to engage with potential customers via social media. Anyone that's used Twitter for ANY amount of time knows that its members love to use the site to discuss and connect over any type of event like this. Whether it's the Super Bowl or the Grammys or the season premiere of Lost, we are there and we are talking.

The water cooler is now online. Companies need to understand this, and start engaging with customers in a place where they are already chatting.

Oh well, maybe next year...


Stuart Foster said...

Where were they anyway?

Glad you had fun with #brandbowl! Mullen and Radian6 worked our butts off to get the site/hashtag in working order. We succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. Check out the results/winners and losers here:

Interesting result? Crowdsourcing seemed to win the night...and Pepsi seemed to win without participating.

Mack Collier said...

Stuart thanks for the info on #brandbowl. I asked David Alston to explain to me how it worked, and it all went over my head, of course.

Will you guys be posting your thoughts on the feedback/sentiment and other gems learned? Would love to read that if you do.

Stuart Foster said...

We'll definitely have some more detailed analysis upcoming. We're just trying to recover from keeping the site up ;)

Tim said...

So true, Mack. What an opportunity MISSED to engage 1/2 of 1% of the largest television audience to be seen all year. I'm not saying "the few who tweet AND watch TV", as much as I'm saying that a $2 million 30-second investment could have been amortized over hours of conversation if played well. To our amazement, no one seemed to play at all...

Stephen Denny said...

How many Super Bowl advertisers linked to social media? I didn't see any.

How many linked to online? A few that I noticed - and I probably missed several.

How many were ready to take advantage of the opportunities that a Super Bowl spot creates? Who knows. If a consumer packaged goods company like Dorito's spent$10 million in advertising and didn't use this to force displays in every grocery/convenience store in America, there will be one less brand manager left.

How many really knew what they were doing when they used that kind of money to buy that much advertising? Who knows. Google advertised for the first time and, I'd guess, convinced not one additional person to use their service or buy Adwords. Audi reinforced our negative stereotypes of "green" and tried (unsuccessfully, in my opinion) to link itself to sustainability.

How many companies really made money doing this? My guess is Go Daddy (because betting against them always loses), Monster, Dove (launching a new product), and a few others.

For the rest, the ego rush is now over and the board wants to know what happened to all the money.

Kristen Tom said...

Definitely. I can't believe Twitter is still new to some companies. I believe that social media is one of the most useful marketing tools for any company. Not only is it an effective way to communicate with customers, but also free!

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced that commercials of national brands like these need to feature URLs of their social media presences or even their website. If a McDonald's ad doesn't tell me where my nearest locations are, does it make the ad less effective? If I was interested, I imagine I could figure out how to follow Coke on Twitter, as could anyone else who might want to do so.

Anonymous said...

Hey there Mack,

Sorry I through out all of the technical mumbo jumbo. How it all works unfortunately :)

As for brands engaging I was actually very pleased that Denny's interacted with me twice after I commented on their screaming chicken ad. I was impressed they actually gave a cluck. :)

See ya at SXSW.