Here's the real winner of this year's Super Bowl

Social media will steal the spotlight this weekend.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jan 30, 2012 6:00PM
By Sean Williams

 

The Super Bowl is the mecca of all holidays for me. OK, so it's not an actual holiday, but you couldn't drag me out of my house kicking and screaming if the Super Bowl is on TV.

 

It's also the mecca of all days for networking company NBC, owned by Comcast (CMCSA), because it will be raking in an average of $3.5 million per 30 seconds for the rights to advertise during the Super Bowl. Advertising prices have risen 50% in just the past 10 years, and ads are expected to generate in the neighborhood of $250 million just from this one game.

 

All of the usuals will be out in force this year, with Coca-Cola (KO) battling PepsiCo for the rights to the soda title, and nearly every major car company fighting it out for the coolest new ad. But nothing stands to dominate this year's Super Bowl advertising more than social media.

 

Facebook and Twitter are counting on users to go online and check in before, during, and after the game with reviews of their favorite commercials. Knowing this, many well-known brands will be utilizing consumers' social media addiction and putting their ads to work on these social avenues. Coca-Cola plans on using its iconic digital polar bears in its ads and on Facebook and Twitter following the game. General Motors (GM) is also expected to rely heavily on Facebook and Twitter in addition to its seven commercial slots (for reference, Comcast only sold 70 total slots) to predominantly advertise its Chevy brand of vehicles.

 

Similarly, YouTube, which is owned by Google (GOOG), is counting on consumers' urge to download this year's commercials after the game. YouTube is already a prime social media destination, but it could definitely feel a "Super Bowl" bump in terms of downloads and usage. Last year, the Chevy and Audi brands saw a greater than 30% and 20% bump in viewership in the days following the Super Bowl clearly showing that advertisers are reaching out to consumers via social media portals now more than ever.

 

Even Pandora Media (P) has partnerships in place to supply free content during the big game this Sunday. With Sirius XM leaving Pandora in the dust recently, Pandora can use any sort of name recognition it can get.

 

Needless to say, this Sunday will be remarkable for two reasons. For one, it will mark the first time social media has really dominated the advertising landscape. It really puts into perspective just how the scope of advertising could change over the next decade. Secondly, it will test American's true love of football ... didn't we already see the Patriots vs. the Giants just two years ago? Either way, it pays to take notice that Facebook and Twitter and quickly integrating themselves into the advertising campaigns of multiple sectors, and it's a trend worth watching in the coming years.

 

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, General Motors, and Google, as well as creating a diagonal call position in PepsiCo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that considers itself socially responsible.

 

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