A 30-second commercial during this year's Super Bowl broadcast on NBC will cost $3.5 million, up from $3 million per spot last year on FOX, according to Reuters. With the stakes so high, marketers and agencies aren't taking any chance, so brands such as Coca-Cola — which will stream a Super Bowl viewing party on Facebook — are leveraging social media more aggressively than ever to build buzz for the big game.
"The social media conversation has put more value on a Super Bowl ad, fans will discuss your ads on Twitter and Facebook and then go to YouTube to watch it on demand over and over again," said Brad Adgate, senior vice president of research at Horizon Media, commented to Reuters.
That's a big reason why the Super Bowl is getting its first ever social media command center, open for two weeks at Super Bowl XLVI Central in Indianapolis heading into the big game.
A team from social marketing agency Raidious will use Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other social platforms to reach the Super Bowl audience, engineered from a 2,800 square-foot space in downtown Indianapolis, offering information on traffic, parking, events, where to eat, local attractions, street closures and more.
The center is prepped for an influx of about 150,000 fans to Lucas Oil Stadium over Super Bowl weekend.
“Social media is just how people interact now,” commented Taulbee Jackson, CEO of Raidious, which was chosen by the host committee. “We felt it was critical to have some horsepower behind that aspect of the Super Bowl here, versus what you might have seen from other Super Bowls.”
Jackson and his team will leverage analytics and SEO, indexing key words and phrases to help fans with everything from car parks to hot dog stands. Manned by twenty people, 15 hours a day, the center includes 150 square feet of networked screen space and more than one mile of Ethernet cable.
Michael Holmes, director of Insight and Research for Ball State University’s Center for Media Design, will be studying “the ubiquity of social media and the absolute necessity for companies, organizations and communities to use these tools to improve their relations with their customer, audiences and citizens,” according to Mashable, and sees this command center as a harbinger of things to come in major Super Bowl-like events in the future.
“We’re kind of breaking new ground here so we don’t know the exact numbers yet of what we’ll be dealing with, but we should be able to provide that after the game to other cities that have to deal with these types of issues,” Jackson said. “I think a lot of brands will start to see a need for something like this.”