Consumers have a role in crowdsourced Super Bowl ads

Saturday, February 2, 2013 | 11:00 p.m. CST

Super Bowl advertisements were once solely the territory of big name advertising agencies and acclaimed boutique agencies. The Super Bowl ad landscape, however, has changed during the last several years.

The rise of social media outlets has amplified audience feedback. Rather than waiting to measure audience feedback after the big game, several companies are working to get the consumer involved in the actual process of making the ads.

Remember back in 2006, when Frito-Lay launched its Crash the Super Bowl contest? The contest asked consumers to create a Doritos commercial that they would run during 2007’s  Super Bowl XLI, according to Frito-Lay parent company PepsiCo. Frito-Lay then chose the top five finalists, which consumers were invited to vote on to decide the winner.

The winning ad, “Live the Flavor,” placed fourth on USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter. Frito-Lay has continued the competition in every Super Bowl since, using Facebook for promotion and as a voting platform.

This year’s Super Bowl will feature three ads that consumers have played some role in getting to air, whether in creating or selecting them.

The Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ads for this year have been chosen by the consumer via a Facebook app, where people selected their favorite of five submissions. All five ad choices have been directed by "Transformers" director Michael Bay.

Fellow food and beverage industry giant Coca-Cola is allowing consumers to choose the ending for an ad. The theme for this year’s ad is Coke Chase, with three possible endings: cowboys, showgirls and badlanders.

Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln is also entering the game, with a Twitter-sourced ad. According to PR Newswire, Lincoln asked Jimmy Fallon’s Twitter followers to tweet their craziest experiences on a road trip with the hashtag #SteerTheScript. From these tweets, Lincoln chose the best to create a 30-second spot, which will run sometime during the game.

In addition to these three crowdsourced ads, the audience will be encouraged to actively participate with the trailer for Paramount’s "Star Trek: Into Darkness." An East Valley Tribune blog reports that Paramount has created an app to be used along with the ad, which will air during the second quarter. The app will allow viewers to unlock exclusive content from the film by using their smartphone or tablet device to scan print or televised material about the film.

So what do you think of crowdsourced ads? Do you like participating in the creation of an ad, or do you think it should be left to the professionals?

Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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