Facebook’s Super Bowl Strategy May Excite Or Scare You

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Two men watching a football gamePlan to log in to Facebook while watching the big game? Of course you won’t be the only one attending the Facebook bowl parties, but if you do choose to discuss the game, you might be surprised at what you see…or maybe not.

This year, Facebook’s Super Bowl strategy is a step up from last year’s, which used users’ existing profile information (demographics, likes, etc.) for targeted ads that replaced or supplemented TV spots.

But, based on the success of social media during last year’s Super Bowl and Oreo’s 2013 tweet response to the power outage, brands and advertisers (specifically social media platforms) know that real-time advertising could mean more than the coveted $ 4.5 million 30-second TV spot.

During the 2014 Super Bowl, 38 Super Bowl TV commercials used #hashtags within their campaigns and Budweiser’s #BestBuds campaign saw a whopping 59.1K tweets. Lagging behind in mentions was Honda’s #HugFest and Coca-Cola’s #AmericaIsBeatuiful with 18.4K and 12.K mentions respectively. (source: AdWeek)

So seeing this success and knowing what Twitter has in store with promoted tweets, Facebook wants a bigger piece of the digital advertising pie and is giving advertisers the opportunity to display newsfeed ads in real-time that will be served to users who are talking about the game. That’s right, what you write and do on Facebok during the game will end up profiling you into an audience segment and that will determine what advertisements you see in the space. Cool or creepy – that’s up to you to decide. Either way, it’s going to happen.

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This new approach is a strategic move to help Facebook earn a good share of the advertising dollars brands are using to fuel their game day digital advertising efforts.

This type of real-time, top of mind social advertising and engagement provides a great opportunity for both the social networks and the brands. Thanks to the “social” nature of the social networks, fans want to engage and want to get involved in the game on more than one level (one minute they discuss the play, the next they comment on the advertisement). And due to the scope of the audience, this space might be where advertisers really need to go to captivate and recruit.

Back in September, NFL Executive Vice President of Media, Brian Rolapp stressed that 60 to 70 percent of fans are using their second screens while watching football. So this year’s Super Bowl viewing audience of about 100 million will most likely engage in the same behavior and that spells big opportunity – and opportunity is exactly what Facebook sees and wants.

So while you are enjoying the game and tweeting and/or updating along, don’t be surprised at what may show up in your feed.

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