Super Bowl Advertisers Use Social Media to Grab Fans Before the Game

One of the best things about the Super Bowl – aside from being surrounded by food, family, and friends – are the commercials. Long after the game ends, favorite – or least favorite – Super Bowl commercials are talked about for weeks, and watched over and over again on YouTube. This year, however, the build-up and surprise of the best-and-worst comercials may be slightly watered down, as brands advertising during the contest are using social media to gain attention and fans before the game.

Beginning immediately, Mercedes-Benz is offering a competition that will award a car to two people who can garner the most Facebook “likes”, tweets on Twitter, and other forms of social media attention. The first step is to “like” the Mercedes-Benz page on Facebook. In case you don’t win a Benz, Audi is also offering a chance at trips and other prizes if you follow the brand before the big game on Facebook. The most active social media fans of Audi will be noted as “Inner Circle” fans of Audi, and during Audi’s commercial be prompted to compete for these prizes.

The car-makers are not the only ones who will be utilizing social media to draw attention to their brand before the Super Bowl in 2011; it is expected that most marketers will have some sort of Facebook or Twitter tie-in. The problem with this is that consumers will become overwhelmed with requests to “like” brands, and the shock and surprise value of a Super Bowl commercial for a brand that a consumer has otherwise not heard about in a few weeks or months is no longer effective. Brands also loose the ability to stand out if every other brand uses a social media component; and those that don’t are really left in the dust.

Will you particpate in the pre-game social media contests for brands advertising during the Super Bowl? Or will you stick with tradition and just enjoy the commercials?

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Kelly Clay, author of Blog Without Boundaries, is a freelance writer and lifestyle advisor.