Thursday, August 11

TV May Not Be the Future of Marketing, But GoDaddy Shows That Interactive TV Ads Are Possible

With online marketing and social media taking over the majority of a business’s marketing and advertising campaigns, it’s almost surprising that something like a TV commercial — which is incredibly limited in terms of audience engagement and interaction, by comparison — could grab news headlines.

But when it comes to Super Bowl advertising, TV commercials reach a whole new level of dedication and creativity.

It seems unlikely that any business would be able to drum up the same level of audience engagement with a TV commercial that can be found with just a few tweets, but as Variety reporter and senior TV editor Brian Steinberg notes, the web service company “GoDaddy” may have accomplished the impossible.

It’s no secret that Americans have a special place in their hearts for Super Bowl commercials, and no Super Bowl party is complete without at least one attendant who’s “just there to watch the commercials.”

In 2011, Volkswagen began a social media campaign for its ad before the big game even started, and the video (which had been posted online about a month earlier) racked up about 10 million views.

Last year, Jaguar released a short “teaser” commercial in November, to drum up some hype for its commercial, especially since it had just become a sponsor for the 2014 game.

This year, GoDaddy released as little information about its Super Bowl commercial as possible, but still managed to snag headlines and create a storm of audience engagement. The company simply announced on Monday, December 8, that it planned to feature a nine-week-old puppy in its commercial — but the puppy didn’t have a name yet. GoDaddy asked fans to submit name ideas in a contest, which lasted a mere four days, before the actual commercial was shot on Thursday, December 11.

This interesting approach to television seems to go against the predictions of most marketing analysts, who note that online marketing is becoming the most important platform for businesses, regardless of what the business sells, where it’s located, or how big it is. In fact, Kelly Gilblom recently wrote in Bloomberg that marketing analysts predict that global advertising spending will surpass TV advertisements as soon as 2019.

“Even with the marketing landscape shift, smart brands will still use the vast audience that television possesses to launch their hopes of ‘viral’ advertising,” says Matt Harding, President of Durrani Design. “Successful campaigns will then gain a national discussion through the strength and power of social media.”

While it’s unlikely that TV ads will make enough of a comeback to hinder the growth of online advertising, it’s worth noting that Super Bowl ads are unlike any other kind of advertising, in terms of financial funding and creativity. Perhaps the success of these commercials shows that it might be too soon to rule out the importance of television in the marketing industry.

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