Super Bowl ads play the social-media game


The Super Bowl used to be a football game, but advertisers are turning the upcoming gridiron event into a high-stakes social-media game.

Today, rivals Mercedes-Benz and Audi will unveil separate plans to launch high-profile social-media contests that offer hefty prizes to consumers who best use unconventional social-media tactics to tweet and digitally tout the foreign brands before the Super Bowl.

“We’re using the 2011 Super Bowl as our head-long plunge into committing to social media,” says Stephen Cannon, marketing vice president at Mercedes-Benz. “It’s our strategic leap of faith.”