Super Bowl Ads Face Off on Twitter in Online Brand Battle

A stolen prom kiss, smooching models and speeding showgirls are competing for online fans through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube today while the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.

The stakes are high for the championship football game’s advertising sponsors, who spent as much as $133,333 a second for a half-minute of airtime, a record sum marketers say is justified by the expected repeat viewings and buzz on the Web. Internet companies are taking on the role of referee, measuring viewers’ votes, searches and sentiments in an attempt to declare a winner among the Super Bowl sponsors.

The game, played in New Orleans and aired on CBS Corp.’s network, is drawing major marketers like Coca-Cola Co. and Volkswagen AG as well as lesser-known brands like Wonderful Pistachios and Gildan Activewear. BlackBerry, struggling to rehabilitate its faltering brand, is advertising for the first time in the Super Bowl, promoting the long-awaited Z10 smartphone ahead of its U.S. release in March.

Many advertisers started streaming their Super Bowl spots ahead of the game to draw a bigger audience, both online and on television. Ads released before the Super Bowl typically generate more than 9.1 million online views on average, compared with 1.3 million for those appearing on the Web the day of the game, according to Lucas Watson, vice president of advertising at YouTube, owned by Google Inc.

“You’re more likely to remember the brand on the Super Bowl day if you saw the ad beforehand,” he said in an interview last week.

Companies paid CBS an average of $3.75 million for 30- second Super Bowl spots, up 7.1 percent from a year earlier, the most expensive ad rate in U.S. media, according to WPP Plc’s Kantar Media, an industry research firm. Some sponsors paid more than $4 million, CBS Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves said in an interview.

Rates for Super Bowl spots have climbed about 60 percent over the past decade, showing how much marketers value the chance to reach the largest TV audience. Last year’s game had 78 commercials and produced ad sales of $262.5 million, according to Kantar Media.

Super Bowl sponsors get a 20 percent increase in traffic on their websites on the day of the game, and the audience remains higher than average the following week, according to an analysis from Adobe Systems Inc.

Read More at : Bloomberg