Tech Watch: The Super Bowl

Categories:  Tech Watch    Sports
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 at 4:30 AM

Super Bowl XLVIII has become a hot topic for news outlets and social media users over the past few weeks. Just search “Super Bowl 2014” on Twitter and your page is consumed with post after post about teams, commercials, and the fact that it’s the first year people will basically be frozen during the game since it will be played in New Jersey. Outdoors. In February.

But even more than the NFL teams themselves, everybody is talking about the expectations for the commercials this year.

The cost of these advertisements continues to climb year after year. Up $200,000 from the last Super Bowl, it’s now a record $4 million for one 30-second spot. And having the game in New York has raised the bar for several top buyers.

According to The New York Times, the high-demand location of the sporting event has had a play in the fast sellout of these slots. But this year, the Winter Olympic Games begin days after the Super Bowl, which causes the Super Bowl to face some serious ad competition. Both parties are claiming that the events can co-exist, but as for advertisers, many of them had to choose one or the other.

One company that won’t be straying from what it knows is Doritos. Doritos has advertised during the Super Bowl every year since 2007. The company’s campaign, called “Crash the Super Bowl,” allows fans to create their own Doritos ad in hopes of winning the $1 million grand prize along with having their advertisement broadcasted during the game. They also get the chance to work with Marvel Studios on the new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie. After going through entry upon entry, Doritos has narrowed it down to the final five. Within these five, the Doritos marketing team will choose one winner, while the other winner coming from a fan vote.

Last year, Doritos ran “Crash the Super Bowl” through a poorly-made Facebook app, which was slightly annoying to fans because it required Facebook's open graph infrastructure to operate. But this year, the company is running the contest through an actual website – a great improvement – and the competition isn’t just for Americans any more, as forty-six countries are now participating in the race to crash the Super Bowl.

While not having the competition generated through Facebook this year may have brought down the visibility through social media for the competition, with coverage on shows such as Good Morning America and the Today Show, the views for the commercials are through the roof, as the leading video already has over 2 million views on YouTube. Needless to say, I’ve contributed to that 2 million more than a few times.

I see this whole campaign as a genius marketing technique. Doritos may have seen a hiccup in the results last year, but with all the positive changes they have made, I predict a pretty remarkable outcome, which is funny, because I don’t even really like Doritos, yet they have me wondering who that winner will be, and I’m still watching the commercials again and again – but maybe that's the point, right? It is definitely an expensive investment for any company, but in the end, fans seem to be more invested in this commercial than any other one being broadcast. Free content for the Doritos marketing team, plus some honest humor for Super Bowl fans is a win-win for everyone.

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