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The Evolution of Super Bowl Advertising

Everyone loves the Super Bowl.  Even if you’re not crazy about watching football, you can stick around the watch clever advertising at its best.  But you probably noticed that Super Bowl XLVI was a little different from its predecessors.  Social media helped brands change the rules of Super Bowl ads.    

On average, a 30 second spot during the game of the year put a company back about $3.5 million so it makes sense that they would want to get as much value as possible from this enormous expense.  This year, brands came up with creative tactics to get plenty of bang for their buck(s).

“Accidentally” Leaking the Ads

The last week of January, the United States experienced a little blast from the 80’s past.  Matthew Broderick appeared as the memorable Ferris Bueller in an anonymous 10 second clip leaving viewers puzzled.  Was this a trailer for a sequel or a Super Bowl teaser?  

Honda later confirmed that it was indeed a teaser and released a full 2 ½ minute Ferris Bueller reminiscent commercial for the new Honda CR-V.  As of 2/7/12, the clip had nearly 13.3 million views.  

Deliberately Leaking the Ads

USA Today partnered with Chevrolet, CareerBuilder, H&M and other big brands, to give commercial lovers a sneak peak of their Super Bowl ads.  During the big game, fans were able to view and share commercials with friends as well as vote for their favorite.         

Putting the Fans to Work

With the low cost of digital camcorders and multiple video-sharing sites available, anyone can become a film producer.   For the past three Super Bowls, Doritos has had much success by allowing consumers to create videos on their behalf.

This year, Doritos kicked its campaign up a notch by awarding the “Crash the Super Bowl” Winner with a $1 million cash prize and chance to work the comedy music group, Lonely Island.  Second and third place winners received $600,000 and $400,000, respectively. 

Social media continues to evolve business, relationships and now Super Bowl ads.  Will these commercial sneak peaks will become a new Super Bowl tradition or will businesses simply forego the expensive ad placements and stick to YouTube?