The Superbowl is always a funny event for me. Jocks, couch potatoes and Marketing nerds all get their funk on for a couple of hours.
From a Marketing perspective (because, trust me, you do not want my perspective on sports), the Superbowl is that one time out of the year when our industry gets a very real temperature check as to how we're doing. We see this in how fast the television commercials sell-out for the event (and when in the year this happens), we see this in the amount a 30-second spot sells for, we see this in the types of adjunct promotions that take place surrounding the event and, ultimately, in how well the creative performs. For many Marketers, advertising on the Superbowl becomes the centrifugal force for the rest of their marketing and communications activities for the entire year.
So, who do you think will come out on top this year? The answer is: Facebook.
You may be thinking to yourself that Facebook isn't even running a TV commercial during the football game... and you would be right. They don't have to. Along with every commercial will be some kind of link to a Facebook page. They will be about "liking" the brand on Facebook, "learning more" on Facebook, "following" the brand on Facebook, a contest on Facebook and much more. Twitter will get some love too, but this will be the "year of Facebook" when it comes to the Superbowl.
It won't just be about Facebook during the commercials.
Along with the many calls-to-action driving consumers to Facebook, you can rest assured that the commentators during the game will drop the "F" bomb a couple of times too (Facebook... Facebook... not the other "f bomb") just to come off as being culturally relevant. The press in and around the game will also make mention of Facebook (a lot) when discussing and dissecting the commercials and their viability. It just won't stop.
What do you think Facebook is paying for all of this attention and publicity?
The answer is: nothing (or next to nothing). In fact, they are actually going to make money (and, a lot of it) on the Superbowl. All of this attention is going to drive a significant amount of traffic that will push advertising on the online social network to new heights. Brands are currently paying Facebook to set-up some of the many promotions that they are going to run during the Superbowl. On top of that, because of the many new and different ways that brands will be leveraging Facebook, the company will use those stories as case studies to entice other advertisers to work with them. So, while everyone else is trying to figure out if the beer company or the sugar-water company had a better ad on the Superbowl, always remember (in the back of your mind) that it's actually Facebook that will be coming out on top.
While I'm not much of a gambler, I'd love to bet on the over/under for how many mentions and sightings there are of Facebook during the Superbowl.