If you need further proof that the technological world is moving at warp speed, look no further than the Super Bowl this Sunday evening.
It was this time four years ago that the New England Patriots and New York Giants met in Super Bowl XXXXII. And on Sunday, we’ll see a rematch of that thrilling season finale from 2008. But there’s something more significant in the works here than a rekindled rivalry.
And let me get it out of the way: If you’re looking for a score prediction, you’ve come to the wrong place – I’m more of an English football guy myself.
But what I will say is this: The social media world will go nuts at 6:30 on Sunday evening!
Sure, there’s great interest in the outcome of the game itself. And the commercial battle between the television advertisers is always intriguing.
But in a world where many folks get withdrawal symptoms if they’re off their beloved Facebook and Twitter accounts for more than five minutes, these mediums are about to take the online Super Bowl world by storm…
An Advertiser’s Utopia
Consider that when the Patriots and Giants met four years ago, the iPhone had only just launched… the iPad was a mere twinkle in Steve Jobs’ eye… Facebook was popular, but not the massive $5 billion IPO juggernaut that it is today… and Twitter was something for the birds (sorry… sorry…), not the go-to social tool for the 100 million people that use it now.
Flash-forward to today: The proliferation of mobile devices (around 145 million Americans own smartphones or tablets) coupled with the social media explosion, have created a potent – and profitable – force.
According to ratings company, Nielsen, 40% of smartphone and tablet users are bashing away on their devices while watching TV, with a similar number of those people hitting social media sites to interact with fellow viewers. According to Facebook’s IPO filing, 425 million people used their mobile devices to access the site in December.
And for advertisers, it’s a combination that produces their favorite result: A whole lot of buzz – and a whole lot of money.
Quoted in Bloomberg, Radha Subramanyam, Nielsen’s Senior Vice President of Media Analytics, states:
“There’s a concerted effort to create more value out of the advertising during, but also after the actual event. Especially for event television, we find the No. 1 thing that people are doing online is some form of social media engagement.”
YouTube, owned by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), is joining the online Super Bowl party, too, offering viewers a chance to replay the commercials once they’ve aired during the game. That’s crucial for advertisers, given Google’s claim that 300 million people watched Super Bowl ads online last year – three times the number of people who watched the actual game!
Google’s Retail Industry Director, Dan Schock, says:
“Mobile traffic on YouTube has tripled from a year ago. They see about 600 million views a day on mobile YouTube, so I’d imagine we’ll have a lot of multitasking going on during the game.”
Of course, one other company will rake in the dollars on Sunday: Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA). As the parent company of NBC, which will broadcast the game to some 115 million people, it’s charging an eye-popping $3.5 million for each 30-second ad spot during the game.
Speaking of which, enjoy it. Assuming you’re not more focused on Facebook and Twitter, that is.
P.S. For more on the how social media will play a crucial role for television advertisers during the Super Bowl, check out this video.