Monday, January 21, 2013
Every year, one event consistently redefines the limits of hype, production value, and viewership when sports and entertainment are combined. That event, of course, is the Super Bowl. Companies spend millions of dollars to sponsor, advertise, and promote throughout the 4-hour broadcast, achieving a reach of over 100 million individuals. But not until 2013 has a brand attempted to create an interactive experience for these viewers.
The Super Bowl halftime performer was announced in early January to be Beyoncé, with the return of Destiny's Child. One would think that with this announcement, Pepsi would be satisfied with the the level of excitement and anticipation for their halftime show, but they chose to take it a step further. Fans have been invited to create the first crowd-sourced halftime show introduction by submitting photos based on daily instructions. The process is to upload your photos based on the quality and lighting specifications that are given, supply contact information manually or through Facebook, and submit. Selected photos will then be used to produce a synchronized introduction to Beyonce's performance on February 3.
The entertainment industry continues to move in the direction of more interaction between artists/brands and their supporters. There are a few points to be made about this specific interactive promotion that Pepsi has tied to their halftime presentation:
- The power of images is at an all-time high. Applications like Instagram have made photo-taking and sharing a part of everyday life for the 111 million smartphone owners in the United States alone. Whether it's your group of friends before they hit a night on the town or the delicious gourmet cheeseburger you just ordered, people are taking pictures. (For more on this phenomenon, check out this entry from our Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013.)
- Technology continues to advance. Since the birth of the smartphone, mobile devices have been able to capture high-quality still images that, for years, required expensive equipment. Suddenly, photography is both affordable and easy for the average individual.
- Facebook is tied to almost everything. It is not out of the norm to skip traditional login process online by simply tying one's Facebook account to an entry. This pulls the relevant information from one's Facebook profile, making it quicker for users to purchase tickets, submit contest entries, or anything of the like.
- Interaction is one of the best ways to promote. With so many channels to advertise a brand, marketers need to fight through the noise and get their audience's attention. The response to the the call for halftime show participation is just one example of interactive campaigns drawing in thousands.
The opportunities for brands to converse with their fans and the general population are ever-changing, as marketing technology continues to advance. Take a page from Pepsi's book and find a way to make it a two-way conversation, allowing the audience to share their creative thoughts and ideas. Not only will this supply a brand with content to be utilized, but it gives the audience a personal stake in the campaigns that are intended for them.
Looking for more great ideas for connecting with fans through social media? Check out the Social Media Playbook.