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After nearly a decade of interactive marketers bemoaning the fact that the web didn't get its due on game day, the tide has definitively turned for Super Bowl advertisers. An interactive component to those $3 million :30 spots is now solidly de rigeur, rather than a nice-to-have.
"No one just runs a TV spot any more. Most people pair their spot with an integrated campaign that includes the Internet," Prof. Timothy Calkins, a clinical professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, is quoted as saying on Google's Retail Blog. Calkins condusts an annual Super Bowl ad effectiveness study.
User-generated content will be a continuing theme this year after the success (not to mention avalanche of publicity) generated by Doritos' ground-up UGC video efforts last year, that not only provided an opportunity for users to vote on submissions, but also created a wealth of B-roll viewing to expand and prolong the brand reach.
In addition to microsites and paid search campaigns around Super Bowl spots, several of this year's advertisers are launching YouTube channels for expanded viewing opportunties and a much broader window of exposure to the brand. Super Bowl ads garnered 20 million views on YouTube last year, with views remaining strong for as long as three weeks post-game.
Unsurprisingly, other social media channels are entering into the fray. E*TRADE is bringing back its talking baby, only this year with a MySpace page and a (rather uninspired, to be honest) Twitter account.
In addition to the usual Super Bowl brand advertiser suspects: beer, soft drinks, fast food, automitive and financial services, an interesting newcomer this year will be perhaps the big game's first DM advertiser. MC Hammer has been enlisted by Cash4Gold, a company that buys jewelry, gold and other valuables.