MediaPost: Giving Super Bowl Ads a Second Life Online

04 Feb 2015 | By Yukiko Koizumi

Super Bowl ads have transcended their day-to-day counterparts and become a part of the American zeitgeist and this year didn’t disappoint. We saw the Budweiser puppy find his way home and the return of Walter White.

Now that the smoke has cleared – for everyone except Pete Carroll – many of these ads are having a second life online as brands clamor to make it into water cooler conversations about favorite spots. With new advances in video technology, this second life is extending the reach of our favorite Super Bowl spots even further and it’s clear that the creative future of Super Bowl ad campaigns isn’t limited to the 60 second television spots.

Here are some of the ways our favorite ads will evolve with the rise of new technologies and platforms:

Quality creative in digital.  We’re starting to see a trend towards high-quality creative in digital advertising. Leading social networks are setting a quality standard for the advertisements they publish. Instagram is known for being very selective when it comes to the ads it hosts. The app actively screens each ad for creative integrity and aesthetic fit. Snapchat is charging $750,000 a day for its new ads, and are reportedly aiming for fewer, bigger and better advertisers. We believe that this quality standard will be applied across the industry and bleed over to Super Bowl ads, particularly as they overlap with extensive digital campaigns.

Interactivity.  The Super Bowl provides a moment in time for brands to engage viewers. Brands like Microsoft, Gillette and Anheuser Busch are using interactive video technology to create innovative ads that let viewers access more information about a product by hovering and clicking on any item in a video—such as a phone or razor in a person’s hand. Mazda is working with Norwegian ad company, Cxense, to deliver 3D ads. In these ads, the cars appear to pop off the page when you scroll over them. The demand for interactivity is there and it’s only a matter of time before this experience is deployed at scale to give users the chance to engage with Super Bowl commercials in new ways. With all the effort and money put into producing a Super Bowl ad and amplifying its reach, brands will be eager to see viewers spend more time leaning in and actively engaging with the spot.

Branded content.  As Super Bowl ad campaigns take on a life of their own, they are often attached to longer-form videos that live online. In essence, Super Bowl ads are almost teasers for the full campaign. We’ll see a puppy reunite with a Clydesdale during the Super Bowl, then go online to watch the two play together in additional videos. The TV ad is just the beginning—it will become an introduction to the full digital ad campaign, letting brands extend the reach of the experience.

Improved targeting and personalization.We’re already seeing companies leverage social data to target Super Bowl ads at actual Super Bowl viewers, in real-time. This year, Facebook offered brands the chance to deliver ads to viewers according to their status updates and posts. We’ll see ad tech companies ensure the ads they serve up are personalized and aligned with consumer’s interests.

Augmented/virtual reality. New wearable hardware like the Oculus Rift is opening up a whole new medium for creators and brands have taken notice. Brands and advertisers could take advantage of new virtual reality devices to create an immersive storytelling experience, taking viewers inside the ad itself. Using augmented reality technology, advertisers can create apps that superimpose virtual content over a person’s physical surroundings. Imagine the characters from a movie trailer or your favorite NFL players being transported into your living room.

For many Americans, the day after the Super Bowl is for talking about the ads just as much as the game-winning plays. For that reason, the world’s biggest brands will continue to spend big for their chance at becoming part of the conversation but how long do those conversations go on? With new technologies poised to have a huge impact on the world of advertising, the creative future of Super Bowl ad campaigns is limitless.

By Justin Fuisz, published in MediaPost,February 3, 2015