Social Media Lessons of the Superbowl

Moonday Mania

a blog for authors, readers, and anyone crazy enough to read it

The Broncos were not in the Superbowl yesterday. But we watched it anyway. And it turned out to be a very exciting game! An extremely unusual power outage and all of a sudden those SF guys nearly pulled it off and we were hanging by the edge of our seats. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

Since my team wasn’t playing, I wasn’t really watching for the football. Until that last quarter. Okay, then I was really watching and cheering since it was such an exciting turn-around. But the thing I watched during the majority of the game were those famous Superbowl commercials. And there were two that were so similar, I have to bring them up here and show you a do and a don’t for your advertising.

The first one is an ad for Jeep. At first the commercial, which focuses on our veterans felt powerful. They used a good narrator with a strong, sympathetic voice. The pictures were emotionally moving. Your sympathies for veterans are stirred. And then you see the blaring product placement and you remember that this is not a commercial commemorating veterans service. It’s a commercial to promote Jeep


By the end my neighbor, who was watching with me, had her lips compressed and was shaking her head. Instead of making us like Jeep, it made us feel like Jeep had used the service members for it’s own promotion.

Do not use Social Media in this way.

Do not make your fellow loop or class or Facebook Friends feel like the only reason you are out there is to sell.

Another Superbowl commercial also used a similar type of structure, but they did it in a much more successful way.

Dodge paid homage to farmers. The narration was powerful, the pictures emotionally moving, and I didn’t notice the product placement until the very end. This is the way you want your friends out there to feel. Because ultimately, they are your friends. You  sell maybe one to two books a year. The rest of the year they don’t want to feel like you only care about them when they purchase.

I am on a particular loop where this is out of hand. We all know the perpetrators and skip their posts. That’s right. We pass over, don’t read, and delete anything they post. Why? Because  we know it’s just another ad for them. Another, hey, come by my blog or vote for me. Me! Me! Me! And when I say “we” I don’t mean it in the royal sense. This has come up at group discussions and many people have told me that they feel the same. Used.

Don’t use your friends. They are your friends most of the year and purchasers maybe one or two times a year. If they purchase, great! If they don’t, oh well. They are still nice people who come to your blog, retweet your comments, and who will rally around you when you post your no-good-very-bad-day on Facebook. Keep your friends close and if you make some sales, then that’s all gravy. Or cupcakes. Or bratwurst. Whatever you served at your Superbowl party. (We had mini-quiche and Thin Mints.)

Did you watch the Superbowl? Did you have the same emotional response to those commercials? Maybe the message in the Jeep commercial was so powerful the enormous machines blocking my view didn’t block yours and you got teary instead of irate. I’d love to hear from you.

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24 Comments

Filed under blogging, Moonday mania

24 responses to “Social Media Lessons of the Superbowl

  1. Yeah, I think I agree with you on both counts. The other one that bothered me was the Coke commercial that destroyed this:

    I LOVE the original video. I’ve watched it over and over. What I hate is that Coke took it and cut it up to make it a commercial. I also hate that they’re running around, blocking it, making it impossible to watch the original video, because there’s a Coke machine in it for half a second. But there they go again, giant corporations stomping all over the actual sentiment of the ad.

    And yes, the folks who do nothing but advertise to their “friends” in certain mail groups drive me crazy. 😉

    Hopefully next year we’ll be able to cheer for the Broncos!

    • Hi Marie! I actually hadn’t even seen this other than the Coke commercial. I think it’s pretty stupid of them to block anything with their name in it. How much do advertisers pay for product placement and they got it for free! Oh well, that’s lawyers for you. 🙂

  2. Am I the only one who wasn’t even aware of Superbowl Sunday?

    Thought-provoking post, Jessica. It is a careful juggling act, to be evocative, emotive, personal, yet not be me, me, me. Why else be out there, if not to share what is you, you, you?

  3. Good post, Jessie, and so true. I didn’t watch the SB, can’t tolerate football. I did see some comments about the Calvin Klein ad on FB, though. I might just check that one out!

    • The ads are usually fantastic. The best ones I saw were for Doritos, “Fashionista Daddy” and Mercedes “Soul”, oh, and the Toyota “Rav 4 Genie”, that one was pretty good. I must have missed the Calvin Klien add. I may have to search it out on Youtube. Whatever did we do before Youtube???

  4. Didn’t watch the SB…tried to catch a few commericals, but of course doing it that way I caught the lame ones…LOL

  5. I did like the farmer one, but my favorite had to be the Budweiser horse one. That touched me. However, it terms of clogging up the blogs to promote oneself, I agree. I think people have to look at what the purpose of the blog is for and follow those guidelines. Social media can get out of hand and the Superbowl commercials always tetter on the line. Yes, I want to promote my name and my books, but I must do it in a responsible way and hitting my friends and collegues is not the way to do it.

    • The Clydesdales are always a favorite! :)I don’t think the people who are spammy even realize they are ignored. I think maybe they think it’s what they are supposed to do. I do tweet my blogs, but I tweet other people’s blogs too. And random comments on coffee, dogs, and life. And I try to keep the loops for business and social stuff. The FF&P loop has gotten out of hand and I hardly even look at it. It’s so bad I keep thinking about dropping my membership, but I haven’t so far.

  6. Well, I’m with Sherry, and not because we’re both Canadians! Never watch football, didn’t know SB was known for its good commercials (is there such a thing?), and, dare I say it, didn’t see that much difference between the commercials you mentioned. Of course I’m not much of a commercial watcher. With my Apple TV and Netflix stuff, I rarely watch ‘real’ tv.. As for the SM folks who promote all the time, I have the solution. Take them off your friend list. I did that to a couple of people on Twitter whose merciless ads for their books appeared five at a time, one after the other every few minutes or so. Yuk. I think you are right, Jess, that we must only sell very rarely and the rest of the time we must give great content that is free and useful to our readers.

    • Oh, you Canadians. I know you stick together! 😉
      Great content, that is the secret, Elaine. And frankly it’s more fun! I never thought I’d like blogging as much as I do, never thought that I’d be able to think of this many things to say. 🙂
      Twitter isn’t my real issue, it’s the loop clogging. I’m on several Yahoo Loops and I love the discussion and information that flows back and forth, but the promo on certain loops is terrible. Almost enough to drive me away. And it’s not just about the sales, it’s about the blogs too. That’s the tough part, you want to get the word out about your blog, but you don’t want to over do that either.
      Sorry you missed the commercials, they are a real treat. And I’m the person who fast forwards past commercials, but the SuperBowl is different!

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  8. We didn’t watch the SB – not for lack of desire (at least not on my hub’s part) but mostly because we’re stationed overseas right now and it didn’t start until after midnight for us! /o\

    I really enjoyed your post, it really made me do some thinking. I started a blog in part because I got published and I knew I needed to get my “author face/name” out there. But then all I did on it really was “pimp” my books. Now to be honest, I don’t have that many followers so I guess I never figured it was that big of a deal.

    But just recently (being in the last two weeks or so) I’ve seen several conversations on twitter and several different blog posts by fellow authors about how annoying it is to be “advertised too” and I had to agree with them. And then along came your post and lo and behold my eyes were opened to the fact that I was kind of (lazily I might say) doing the same thing.

    So thank you for such a thought provoking post and here’s hoping I can stick with my resolve to use my blog for more than just ‘pimping’ my wares 😀

  9. I’m as late to this blog post as I was to the Super Bowl game, Jessica!

    Only worse…

    I sat in front of the fire and caught up on “stuff” while my husband watched. Then, I kicked back in my recliner and snoozed relaxed through the end of the game.

    Thanks for the clips of commercials I missed. I understand why the Jeep commercial was distasteful. Our troops deserve better than being used as a stage for sale of Jeeps. An understated “thanks for what you do” at the end of the Jeep commercial would have shown proper respect and garnered fan support for Jeep.

    I think the biggest issue with the commercial (and comparison to social media) is when you feel “used.”

    Authors can and should promote their publications. We’re friends, or — at least– cyber buddies. We want to do the happy dance. But, I, too, find some writers who use social media purely for self-promotion — some under the guise of teaching us technique. Others? They take our time for self promotion without giving back.

    • Hi Gloria! So you take your time, that’s all good. I’m frequently the late guest to the party. 🙂
      I think one of the things I like the least is when you follow someone on twitter and they send you a direct message asking you to buy their book, or even to go look at their book, or site. A simple, “hi, nice to meet you” is appropriate. Would they do that at a party? Actually had someone do that at a party up at ML’s house in January. Introduced herself then went right into promoing her book and handing out her cards. Needless to say, I have yet to purchase.

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