For a big part of the year, some of the louder voices in social media are busy predicting the death of advertising, condemning interruptive messages and advocating for engagement. But come Super Bowl time, it seems that even the die-hard critics come around to liking a good, funny, old-fashioned TV commercial.
At the same time, those old-fashioned TV commercials and their ad agencies are embracing social media. In fact Audi has a hashtag in this year’s spot, hoping to drive online conversation. And while that may be a little ahead of the general TV-viewing public — the mainstream press questions whether anyone will know what the hell a hashtag is — there are enough of us on Tweetdeck every night instead of, or in addition to, watching TV to do our part, either supporting Audi’s effort, or ripping them a new one should they forget to engage themselves.
It’s also interesting to note that something so mainstream isn’t merely the topic du jour of the ad trades, news sites or USA Today. None other than the hi-brow Harper’s has a cover story this month on Super Bowl ads, albeit a discussion on whether or not an ad could get people to appreciate our government, which endures no shortage of ridicule for everything from postal delivery to wasteful spending. (Based on the suggested ads from some pretty good agencies, including Grey, Saatchi, Goodby and Wieden, the answer is a definitive “no.”)
For more than a few years now we’ve seen the “join the conversation” team and the “break-through-the-clutter” team on opposite sides of the marketing line of scrimmage. But it appears come February 6th, the rivalry will be on the field. Off of it we’ll all be watching and tweeting along with the brands themselves.