Super Bowl Advertisers Can Learn Lessons from Social Video Trends

Aaron Smith of CNN Money reports that advertisers are paying top dollar for Super Bowl commercials this year, with the price of a 30-second spot hitting a record high of at least $4 million. And many of these Super Bowl advertisers will also be running YouTube pre-roll ads along with their TV ads to make an even stronger impression on their audience.

How much stronger? YouTube partnered with Ipsos to find out if in-stream video amplifies TV advertising. Their research discovered that people who see ads on both YouTube and TV have recall rates up to twice as high as those who see them on TV alone. Check out this video and see what they learned.

Super Bowl advertisers can also learn lessons from Unruly Media’s top 5 social video trends of 2012. David Waterhouse, the Head of Content at Unruly, says, “The type of videos people share is a powerful indicator of global sentiment, and in 2012 emotions certainly ran high, as viewers swept aside their cynicism to be moved to tears by P&G, inspired by human endeavor and outraged by atrocities in Africa.”

What lessons can Super Bowl advertisers learn from social video trends? Here are the top five:

1. Create Content Worth Sharing

Waterhouse says, “Advertising has changed from a 30-second slot you avoid on TV to a piece of video content which you’re willing to share with your friends online.”

But Super Bowl advertisers can create content worth sharing. For example, The Force: Volkswagen Commercial has been shared almost 5.6 million times on Facebook, Twitter, and in the blogosphere, according to the Mashable Global Ads Chart.

So, how do other automotive marketers create content worth sharing? First, they should read the Unruly white paper, Stuck in first gear? – The state of automotive marketing in social video. Then, they should book a tour of Unruly’s Social Video Lab.

2. Build From the Bottom up

What’s striking when you look at Unruly’s list of the 20 most shared social video ads of 2012 is the content that’s not there. There’s only one video from the London Olympics (P&G: Best Job) and none from the U.S. Presidential Election.

Waterhouse adds, “Even the Super Bowl – supposedly the ‘biggest advertising event in the world’ – only managed to fill two of the top 20 places.” (They were Chevrolet: OK Go, Needing/ Getting and Volkswagen: The Bark Side.)

Maybe it’s time for marketers to move away from advertising around the traditional, top-down tent-pole events and focus instead on building organic, bottom-up brand engagement – and superior ROI – with social video advertising.

Alternatively, marketers should at least embrace the opportunity that big sponsorship deals offer them and supplement their media investment with social video advertising.

3. Find the Formula for Success

Rather than trying to create the next “viral hit” – the strategic equivalent of throwing a Hail Mary pass – a lot of marketers have stopped crossing their fingers and started optimizing their content so that millions of people will discover, watch, and share it.

Waterhouse says, “With 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, there is a lot of competition. However, recent research studies have found there is a formula. Social video success is predictable, measurable and repeatable. Just look at agencies such as Duval Guillaume Modem, who created three of the top 20 most shared ads of 2012.”

(Duval Guillaume Modem is an “idea-centric communications agency” in Antwerp, Belgium. It created TNT: A Dramatic Surprise On A Quiet Square, Coke: Unlock The 007 In You. You Have 70 Seconds, and Febelfin: Amazing Mind Reader Reveals His ‘Gift’.)

4. Put Your Brand in Their Hand

Waterhouse says, “Across the campaigns that Unruly runs for top brands and their agencies, we’ve seen more videos watched and shared across mobile and tablet devices than ever before due to the rise in smartphone ownership and high speed mobile broadband.”

Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker says there were 1.1 billion global smartphone subscribers in Q4 2012. She also says the global installed base of smartphones and tablets should exceed desktop PCs and laptop PCs in Q2 2013. And some advertisers have already learned this lesson.

During last year’s Super Bowl game, Bud Light, Chevy, and Pepsi scored extra points with second-screen experiences that took advantage of the nearly 40 percent of football fans who engaged with their mobile devices while they watched the game on television.

5. Measure Pre- and Post-Game

Waterhouse says, “More and more of our customers are asking for measurement. From analyzing content before it is launched to gathering post-viewing behavior, the social video measurement stick really kicked in this year.”

In fact, an Unruly survey conducted by Decipher Research found that viewer enjoyment increases by 14 percent when the ad has been shared with them and that purchase intent increases by 97 percent when the viewer enjoys the content.

This explains why Doritos is running its venerable “Crash the Super Bowl” contest for the seventh year in a row. The contest has generated an amazing 14 commercials in the top 100 Super Bowl ads of all time.

Once again, Doritos is conducting a contest offering amateurs the chance to have a self-produced ad run in the Super Bowl. However, the brand is also offering the consumer who creates the top-ranked Doritos commercial to run during the game the chance to work with director Michael Bay on the next installment of “Transformers.”

If you want to see which of the fan-made Doritos ads might air during the Super Bowl XLVII, the finalists are on Facebook. The current leader in views is Doritos – Goat for Sale – Crash the Super Bowl 2013 Finalist.

These are the top five lessons the Super Bowl advertisers can learn from social video trends. If you like them, please recommend this story with one of the social media buttons below. If you have any feedback, please add a comment below.

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