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The social superbowlWhat do you get when you combine the Super Bowl, the frenzy over your favorite Super Bowl ad, and Twitter? You get #BrandBowl, the twitter-infused, real time scoreboard & fan reaction of every Super Bowl advertisement as it appears. It's the brainchild of Mullen's Edward Boches, and it's coming our way in just a few days.Let's talk about what the BrandBowl concept means for us as digital marketers, and how and why it's changed-and is changing-the way brands do business around the Super Bowl.
  • A Clever Intro to Social. When Boches started BrandBowl three years ago, it wasn't to tout the platform or technology, it was to get his colleagues in the advertising space to understand and embrace Twitter. Everyone always talks about the Super Bowl Ads, why not use Twitter and the hashtag #brandbowl? So, for all of you in-house digital marketers still trying to sell-in social to your company, have your colleagues hop on Twitter and participate this week. It's an easy way to "get" social.
  • Instant Feedback. Remember 10 years ago when you waited for AdAge to tell you what the most popular advertisements were? Well now you don't. It happens in real-time.  And the brand better be listening too. So, if I'm Groupon and my ad with Timothy Hutton and Tibet backfires, I'm going to start back-pedaling quickly and call in my PR team for a little damage control.
  • A Real-Time Focus Group. During the Super Bowl, you've got a captive audience of a billion or so people, so why not use Twitter as a real-time focus group? Millions of people are tweeting about your brand, so dive deep into the tweets, uncover some trends/data points and go from there. (For the third consecutive year, Radian6 has teamed up with #BrandBowl to analyze and monitor the incoming tweets-a perfect partnership)
  • The Game as a Hook. Forget watching the game, why not interact with your favorite brand? The savvy digital and social brands aren't using the Super Bowl to pitch their products, they are using social to have some fun with their fans. Take a quick look at what Coca-Cola is doing. Their storied Polar Bears are taking over the @cocacola Twitter handle that day, and will be live-streaming "themselves" from the Artic during the entire game. The live stream will showcase the animated polar bears' reactions to all the plays on the field, the halftime show and highly anticipated commercials. Clever, right?
  • Not just 30 seconds of fame. Forget the speculation/secrecy of the ads leading up to the Super Bowl. Why not tease your audience beforehand?  Volkswagen has mastered this in the last two years, with the Star Wars-themed ads generating a great amount of buzz before kickoff on Sunday. And this year, Honda has done a nice job with Ferris Bueller/Matthew Broderick.
So, marketers take note, and take a few minutes to check out #Brandbowl this year and note two interesting additions:
  • Boches and his team have added location-based statistics so you can now see  where all of the tweets are coming from.
  • Billboard has also asked #brandbowl to cover this year's half-time show, and you know Billboard loves it's rankings. (we'll know pretty quickly if Madonna blows it)
NOTE *BrandBowl2012 is hosted again this year over on Thanks to our friends over at