Redding Firm's Hashtag Bowl Grades Social Media Use At Super Bowl

REDDING, Conn. – A Redding-based business will be monitoring more than just the score of the Super Bowl when the Seahawks and Broncos kick off Sunday in New Jersey.

Third Door Media’s Marketing Land will monitor results of the best use of Social Media with a #Hashtag Bowl. The company will have a running scoreboard on how social and other digital media are leveraged during the Super Bowl. There will be pre- and post-game news and analysis, and a real-time, game day tally of social media mentions in Super Bowl ads.

“The idea is to measure how well Super Bowl advertisers take their message online and into social networks through the use of hashtags on commercials,’’ said Matt McGee, editor in chief of Marketing Land. “If they’re spending $4 million for 30 seconds, they better get it right.”

In 2012, only 25 percent of national commercials mentioned hashtags or social media accounts. That number has swelled to more than 50 percent.

Last year, Oreo put out a Tweet that some regarded as among the best ever. When a blackout delayed the game, a clever marketing person for the company sent the Tweet: “Power out? No problem.” A picture included a cookie and caption, “You can still dunk in the dark.” 

That Tweet alone was a seminal moment for the Super Bowl and social media, much like the victory by the New York Jets over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III helped make the game become the nation’s most watched sporting event.

“That sort of opened everyone’s eyes,’’ McGee said. “Even the big brands. It made people realize there is a lot of social conversation. They think if we’re clever, there’s a chance to increase visibility and get more people aware of us. I expect this year will be more of a circus to have clever tweets and be funny on Facebook. There will be room for a lot of mistakes. A ton of people will be trying to replicate what Oreo did last year.”

McGee and Marketing Land got a preview of what the Super Bowl could be like during "The Grammy Awards" last Sunday, when nearly every commercial had a social media reference.

McGee, a diehard Seahawks fan, will be dialed into the game. Marketing Land employees will be engaged in monitoring social media and watching commercials. Continual updates will be made during the game, an analysis will be ready about an hour after the game and an analysis of winners and losers will follow by Tuesday after reviewing data, he said.

"I think there’s a lot of industry wide interest in how this plays out in the social arena and which hashtags become popular and which become more popular than others,’’ McGee said. “There is so much conversation going on. Advertisers are slowly becoming aware of it and recognizing there is opportunity in the digital space.”

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