Volkswagen looks to drive social Super Bowl

Automaker creates Super Bowl 'war room' to tackle social media opportunities during game

Volkswagen of America is looking to capitalize on an expected broad use of social media by viewers of Sunday's Super Bowl.

As the automaker's Super Bowl commercial generates huge page view numbers on YouTube -- 3.7 million as of this afternoon -- Volkswagen says it's also created what it calls a "war room" of employees ready to pounce any Super Bowl social media opportunities.

Volkwagen's commercial "Wings" is set to air during the Super Bowl.

"We've always pushed the envelope with social media," said Jennifer Clayton, a Volkswagen media manager. "The Super Bowl is one of the most talked about days of the social space. We wanted to further expand our engagement." Last year's Super Bowl game was seen by analysts as a watershed event for social media.

Consistently the top rated television program each year, the Super Bowl is now a huge day for social networks as viewers tweet their views and post comments about and pictures of their favorite plays, touchdowns, game day parties and, of course, the commercials.

The halftime show last year drove more than 24 million tweets, many with hashtags touted by the competing teams, the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.

"Social nets are where the most activity will be during the Super Bowl," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. "People watching the game will makes comments in real time about action on and off the field. Twitter and Facebook will light up with commentary. It makes sense for companies to want their brand up there getting attention."

To get in on that social media action, Volkswagon launched its game day commercial, Wings, ahead of time on YouTube, along with Budweiser, Mars Inc.'s M&M candies and Audi.

This is the Budweiser "Puppy Love" commercial that will air during the Super Bowl.

Volkswagen is taking a page from Nabisco's 2013 efforts and says it's fully prepared to take advantage of any big trending topics.

During the 2013 game, a blackout stopped play for about half an hour. Nabisco jumped on it, posting a tweet and twitpic in the midst of the outage reminding readers they could "dunk in the dark." The clever post quickly had Twitter abuzz, with Oreo becoming a trending topic.

By the next day, the twitpic had nearly 15,000 retweets and had been favorited more than 5,000 times.

Walgreens followed suit with the tweet: "We do carry candles. #SuperBowl."

Volkswagen learned from those and is prepared to launch not only tweets but videos that take can advantage of any goofs, big plays or other notables.

The company is stocking its war room with people who will monitor social networks to find out what's trending. They'll also have the actors used in the Wings commercial, along with writers, videographers and lawyers on hand to work on the fly. About a dozen people will be on the job.

"Using those [actors] in their video content, they'll push out responding videos and tweets to various topics," said Clayton. "We don't know what it will be. We don't know what topics will be trending. It could be something really amazing that happens during the game or a malfunction of some sort. If there's a horrible winter storm, we might take that on."

She added that the team has been busily practicing.

"We're making up scenarios and writing scripts and seeing how they feel," said Clayton. "They have to feel organic and be within brand tone. We're not actually shooting -- just testing scenarios to warm up, if you will. We're not going to force it. If it doesn't feel right, we're not going to push it out."

Volkswagen's strategy is a good one, said Jordan Atlas, an executive creative director with Ignited USA, a Los Angeles-based advertising company.

"This idea of real-time marketing isn't a new one but it's blown up since last year's Super Bowl," he said. "The idea of preparing for it is good but I would caution people not to be overzealous. It worked with Oreo because it was so seamless. If you came in 10 minutes later, it'd look like you missed the moment."

Atlas warned that companies need to be wary about moving too quickly and missing that a joke might be offensive or simply not sound like the brand's usual tone.

"If you miss it and look gratuitous, the negative response can be big," said Atlas.

"There might be somebody on the team who thinks they've spent all this money on the team and it's the third quarter and nothing has happened so they need to do something. That's when things might feel a little forced," Atlas added.

Clayton said the Volkswagen team is also making sure it can recognize when something doesn't make sense and having the discipline to let it go.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Read more about social media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Focus on your customer experience not your NPS score. Fix the fucking problems and the customer support requests will go away.I currently...

Chris B

Bringing community thinking to Optus' customer service team

Read more

Nice blog!Blog is really informative , valuable.keep updating us with such amazing blogs.influencer agency in Melbourne

Rajat Kumar

Why flipping Status Quo Bias is the key to B2B marketing success

Read more

good this information are very helpful for millions of peoples customer loyalty Consultant is an important part of every business.

Tom Devid

Report: 4 ways to generate customer loyalty

Read more

Great post, thanks for sharing such a informative content.

CodeWare Limited

APAC software company brings on first VP of growth

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

Blog Posts

Marketing overseas? 4 ways to make your message stick

Companies encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to marketing overseas. Marketing departments often don’t know much about the business and cultural context of the international audiences they are trying to reach. Sometimes they are also unsure about what kind of marketing they should be doing.

Cynthia Dearin

Author, business strategist, advisor

From unconscious to reflective: What level of data user are you?

Using data is a hot topic right now. Leaders are realising data can no longer just be the responsibility of dedicated analysts or staff with ‘data’ in their title or role description.

Dr Selena Fisk

Data expert, author

Whose responsibility is it to set the ground rules for agency collaboration?

It’s not that your agencies don’t have your best interests at heart – most of them do. But the only way to ensure they’re 100 per cent focused on your business and not growing theirs by scope creep is by setting the guard rails for healthy agency collaboration.

Andrew Pascoe

Head of planning, Hatched

Sign in