This year’s Super Bowl was a “four screen” social TV event – and that includes its advertising. In an attempt to experience as much of it as possible, I was flipping between Twitter, Brand Bowl, and Facebook (Coke Polar Bears) on my laptop -- my iPad was synchronized with the game via IntoNow -- and I was juggling Shazam, Miso, and GetGlue on my iPhone. Yet still, I was just scratching the surface as I could have also been using PrePlay, Viggle and a whole host of other second screen apps.
As Stacey and I wrote in Social TV, the current experience of “social TV” is so fragmented right now that it can be quite exhausting (and distracting) in aggregate. In reality, most people will engage on one or two apps/devices at most which means to reach the social TV audience en masse, brands need to be in many places (screens and apps) at once – and hopefully connect the dots into an integrated, rich story across screens and apps.
Real-time Cross-Screen Storytelling
I was particularly engrossed in what Coke did. The brand’s infamous polar bears literally watched and reacted to the game in real-time. One bear was rooting for the Giants and the other, the Patriots. As events transpired on the primary TV screen, the bears would respond through a second screen Facebook app.
During game-play downtime, the bears would share backchannel tweets or posts from their own virtual “second screen” devices. When a Coca-Cola commercial came on, the events in the ad synched with the events online but from two different vantage points. It was a very smart, fun, engaging way to create an immersive, long-lasting brand interaction. And just begins to show what’s possible when the real-time web meets live TV.
I foresee a time when dynamic ad technology seamlessly integrates with social media as this is just the beginning of an exciting era of social TV. And it will become much more complex and fragmented before we start to see what kinds of experiences resonate the most with wider and larger audiences.