I’m writing this rant a few days after the Super Bowl.

It seems to me that there are as many opinions about the quality of commercials as there were viewers of the big game. Most observers agree that advertising quality was down this year.  There are good signs that some of the ads have already made an impact but it’s too soon to tell if sales will spike up for advertisers.

Rather than wax eloquent about the good, bad and ugly of each ad, I prefer to comment on the loss of opportunity by most advertisers, NBC and the NFL.  I thought surely this would be the year that all broadcast partners would step-up their adoption of social media.

The Twitterverse was lit-up with comments about the game, commercials, half-time and about everything imaginable.  Some comments were meant to be funny, some wise, some mean.  (“Someone tell Madonna, the material cougar, that grandmothers shouldn’t do splits.)

Game viewers were connected to much more than the outcome of the game.  Our cultural Super Bowl party has extended to our friends and followers.  At the party, the talk was wide ranging and a potential gold mine.

For advertisers, twitter spit back opinions (why ever pay for another focus group panel) at the rate of thousands per minute.  Hashtags were heavily used and if a researcher was in search of immediate feedback about any commercial–responses were plentiful.

Consumers finally have what they have been screaming for since the Industrial Revolution.   Twitter is a soap box and powerful megaphone.  “Let me tell you what I think.”

This is how NBC and the NFL (and most advertisers) really blew it.  The opportunity was ripe to create interaction with viewers (all 1.3 million of them.)

NBC could have asked ANY question of game viewers at any time- out or game stoppage.

NBC:

“Do you intend to stay tuned to NBC following the Super Bowl to watch the Premier of SMASH?”   How many answers do you think NBC would have received?

NFL:

“Should the NFL consider adding two new teams to the league?”  Los Angeles viewers alone would have swamped Twitter.

My call-out here is to understand the importance of interaction.  When we don’t ask consumers to talk to us…when the modality is so readily available…we send a bad signal that we don’t care to hear the voice of the customer.

The use of social media as an interactive tool is no longer optional.  Brand loyalty can be lost as quickly as a football game. Engage the customer.

I cannot resist… Doritos #FTW. Super Bowl Rout.

Baby Slingshot #1 and Dog Doritos #2.

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