It's genius, it's become an American past time to sit and watch commercials and talk about them around the water cooler the next day. It's almost like the American Idol of advertising and we are all the judges.
One thing I took notice of this year was the sheer amount of attempted social media integration in all of the commercials. Companies were hash tag happy!
But it really made me wonder if they are missing the mark here on what social media is and isn't. I applaud the effort of creative hash tag callouts like #SoLongVampires for Audi, but do they really know how that fits in line with their brand? Or are they just trying to appeal to the largest portion of the public watching their commercial? Is that ok?
These are all questions we ask, social media is so young and it's interesting to see how this will all play out.
Social media is about creating a conversation around your brand. It's about engaging your customers in a way that makes them feel connected to you in a personal way that transcends simple salesmanship and messaging. It's not a direct sales platform where you broadcast sales offers over and over again until you're blue in the face (or fingers). And I think that's confusing for many companies, it's the opposite of what they've known for decades about how to sell.
Social media is NOT a selling tool, it's a branding tool. But I feel that they are now taking it too far the other direction and are sacrificing brand just to get the conversation started.
My favorite brain buster was Hulu's #mushymush....let's all take a second and try to decide what that says about their brand...anyone? I'm not quite sure haha.
We've arrived at a time where companies and businesses have accepted that they need to have social media but I feel that many of them haven't even bothered to form a strategy around their social media approach and what it means for their brand.
Perhaps this is because of the disconnect between execs and those who have a grasp on social media. The execs know they need it and tell marketing to do it but they don't see the whole picture about how it fits in line with their business and brand. They see the tweets roll in and don't even bother to connect what they're saying with the reflection of the brand, they just see numbers.
Here's a really funny article that points out some of the hash tags used in the Super Bowl and a snapshot of the conversations created as a result:
Super Bowl Ads Twitter - 2012 Super Bowl Hashtags - Esquire
Of course what is the point here? I mean I'm writing a post about it so does that mean they did the job effectively, we are talking about it aren't we? But of course we probably would have talked about the commercials themselves regardless of the hash tags.
Just slapping a hash tag up at the end of your commercial is once again illustrating that they might not get it. Create a REASON for discussion. Think outside the box. Create incentives.
Take Godaddy's ad for example. I like they're "See More" concept...even though I'm not sure the target audience clammering to see more skin is exactly the ones who are going to buy domain names....perhaps instead of directing users to a website to "See More" they could promote a hash tag posting spree to reveal the rest. After a certain amount of users RT or use the hash tag...you see whatever it is they were showing.
The newest Batman movie did this with the first image of the new villain Bane. Pretty effective...obviously fans wanted to see the image, they had no problem retweeting and hash tagging the message, they spread the marketing, and they received an image. A well oiled machine.
By putting up a vague hash tag you aren't leading the conversation and you aren't providing purpose. You are just blasting out a message and hoping it sticks, no matter how it does, you hope it sticks.
Anyways, just my $.02 and ramblings. What did you guys think about the hash tag madness in the Super Bowl? Do you think it was effective? Do you think companies understand what social media is all about?
One thing is certain, the Super Bowl was the most tweeted about thing in the history of Twitter. Towards the end, there were 10,000 tweets per second! INSANE! It is definitely a platform that shouldn't be ignored but how can companies refine their approach to using it as a marketing/branding tool?