The Super Bowl and the second screen: 2013 edition

by Jeremy Hodge on February 4, 2013

Last year, I wrote a post about the way social media and the “second screen” were integrated into the advertising for Super Bowl XLVI, and overall, I was unimpressed. This year though, I tip my hat to a few brands.

While I didn’t watch the Super Bowl this year, I did check Twitter around the time of the power outage, and that’s when I saw a few brands use social media to join the conversation everyone was having and create some great content.

Oreo not only managed to get something out a few minutes after the power outage, but they addressed it in a classy and funny manner through a really simple image and some copy. I’d say this tweet is much better than the commercial they produced.

Calvin Klein also posted a tweet right after the power outage and even embedded a Vine video in it. Vine, a service that lets you record and share a six second video clip, is still in its infancy and I was surprised to see a brand jumping in as an early adopter. They also took advantage of paid media and purchased “blackout” as a search term on Twitter minutes after the blackout. Anyone who searched Twitter for that term saw Calvin Klein tweets at the top of the results.

There were many other companies that had creative tweets and posts throughout the game, not to mention some really smart marketers who were able to quickly react to the events at hand and produce something that people enjoyed and shared. If you want a good recap of some of the best social moments at the Super Bowl, I recommend checking out this article in Mashable.

Unfortunately, not all brands were so tactful in their use of social media. Marvel’s Iron Man 3 trailer felt like it was cut really short, and to make things worse, the final shot was some text telling viewers to go watch the full trailer at the Iron Man Facebook page. It seemed as if they produced the ad thinking people would enjoy the cliffhanger and take that extra step to “get social.” For me, it killed the momentum of the trailer and was an antiquated way of integrating social media into the campaign.

There is one brand – GoDaddy – that has been showing truncated versions of its ads and encouraging viewers to view the extended versions on their website. As it has in year’s past, GoDaddy featured another one of its blatantly sexist ads. This time, the company showed both its “sexy side and smart side” by having a supermodel make out with a stereotypical looking nerd, sounds effects and all. As a successful Silicon Valley startup operating in an industry that already suffers from a lack of women, GoDaddy should have a bit more class. It’s sad that they feel the need to exploit women for their marketing campaigns and they probably won’t stop anytime soon. However, the folks at, a competing domain name registrar, came up with a great parody ad that highlights the absurdity of the GoDaddy ad and makes me want to register my domains there. Kudos to them.

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