Who is the MVP of the Marketing Bowl: Social Media or Super Bowl Ads?

If you read this blog, you likely already care less about the Saints versus the Colts than you do about Super Bowl ads versus Social Media marketing. After all, the real money isn't earned from the battle on the field but in the battle that occurs during timeouts: Each player on last year's winning team earned a bonus of $83,000 while NBC earned around $213 million in ad revenue for the telecast.

A shift is occurring in the relative importance to marketers of Social Media and Super Bowl advertising.  Of course, the 2010 Super Bowl isn't the first we've seen of the marriage of Social Media and Super Bowl ads. Last year, Doritos struck gold with a UGC (User-Generated Content) ad produced by two unemployed brothers, and the brand is back this year with more UGC ads competing for even greater prize money.

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Why the Media Meltdown Matters to Brands

Back in July my colleague Nick Thomas wrote a report entitled: We Are All Media Companies Now: How Brands Can Benefit From The Media Meltdown.  I heavily recommend you read it. As we enter the second decade of the 21st century its core arguments are more relevant now than ever before.

The fundamentals of media business are toppling as their 20th century foundations crumble.  Consumers are falling out of love with paying for media and striking up illicit affairs with free content, not just because it is free, but also because it is on their terms.  YouTube, BitTorrent and Spotify don’t dictate when audiences watch and listen, they let them take control.  This is great news for consumers but terrible news for media businesses that have spent years building revenues upon near-monopolistic control of supply of content.  This is the Media Meltdown.

Why all this matters to brands is because the tectonic shifts in media value chains are creating exciting new opportunities for non-media companies to become media companies themselves.  Just as Apple transformed from hardware company to media services company with the launch of the iTunes Store, so too are brands such as Procter and Gamble with BeingGirl.com, Tommy Hilfiger with Tommy TV and Audi with its UK TV channel. 

Why are brands such as these choosing to become media companies?  Because communicating with audiences can be so much more valuable a relationship than a cold, hard sell to potential customers.  Engaging young girl readers on BeingGirl.com with articles about what it means to be a young girl on the verge of womanhood means so much more to that audience than an old fashioned TV ad by P&G’s Tampax (one of the brands behind the site). 

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3DTV at CES: Poking Holes in the Hype

It's high time somebody said it. Sit through one too many CES keynotes, press conferences, or pitches, and you just might leave Las Vegas with the mistaken idea that 3DTV is going to be in all of our living rooms next year. ESPN and Discovery are committing to 3D cable and satellite channels, Sony is upgrading its PS3s to do 3D, and Taylor Swift's live performance opening night at CES was shown live in 3D (Right behind her, mind you. You had to put the glasses on in order to see Taylor Swift in 3D when she was, actually, in 3D already, right in front of the audience.)

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Social Media is the New Super Bowl: Pepsi Refresh and What It Means to Marketers

If you track Social Media news, I'm sure you saw the eye-catching headline: "Pepsi's Big Gamble: Ditching Super Bowl for Social Media".  For the first time in 23 years--23 years!--the brand will not be purchasing a Super Bowl spot.  Instead, it is sinking $20M into a Social Media program called Pepsi Refresh.

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