The closer we get to Super Bowl XLVII this Sunday, the more frequent the agency output it seems. Our latest entry comes from Camilo La Cruz (@akaJuanSmith on the Twitter), a six-year RAPP vet who currently serves as EVP, director of experience & innovation design at the agency. As his headline tells us, Cruz cites a certain fantasy novel series-turned-hit HBO show as one that could provide the ideal inspiration for those choosing to advertise during the Big Game. Take it away, sir.
The Super Bowl continues to prove its value to marketers who understand how to make the most of a rich digital landscape. The most sophisticated advertisers know that they are dealing with a changed television environment where increasingly complex narratives are extended by several layers of interactive and social experiences.
Take Game of Thrones, the HBO series with a cult following and one of the most effective digital ecosystems on television. The show offers the typical multi-layered narrative that is signature of 21st century TV. It also offers fans a few important apertures that are relevant to marketers seeking the highest return for their Super Bowl dollars.
Today’s successful TV shows offer a great benchmark for Super Bowl marketers and an opportunity to reﬂect on the importance of the proper digital ecosystem alongside the potential cost of opportunity of business as usual. In this sense, to craft a powerful Super Bowl experience, consider the following paths:
#1 – Plot Your Engagement Bell Curve
Consider the Super Bowl as the highest point in an experience that begins and ends weeks, if not months, prior and after the big day. To drive maximum viewership between seasons HBO has been releasing and improving platforms like HBO Connect where fans of shows like Game of Thrones come together around anything from an unstructured social conversation to orchestrated live discussions with cast and creators of the show.
One example of this line of thinking is Coke’s social gaming experience created for this year’s Super Bowl. At the center of the experience is a spot called “Mirage” that has multiple possible endings. Coke fans can decide which ending appears on the big game by voting and engaging on a series of activities that will be progressively unlocked as the event nears. This last part being a key point of differentiation versus other brands who have typically relied on contests, voting, and other submission-driven experiences with no link to a bigger narrative.