By: Jamie Nanquil | @the_jamielynn It’s that time of year.  Time to turn on the grill, stock up on nachos, queso, and your libations of choice and prep your living room for maximum Super Bowl enjoyment.  Now while most of the population is looking forward to some good ole pigskin tossing, people like you and me (you know who you are) are watching out for what’s going on in between game time – that’s right, the commercials.  More importantly, how are those commercials going to integrate social media? Who or what is going to be the new Old Spice man?

With all the viral hype that last year’s Super Bowl commercials achieved, this year’s advertisers are hoping to jump on the digital bandwagon and connect with their audience past a quick 30-second TV spot to online features, social media and mobile media.  You can expect to hear from the Super Bowl ad regulars like BMW, Kia, General Motors, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Doritos, E*Trade and Budweiser.  Then there are the newcomers, which include Best Buy, Groupon, and Pizza Hut. Special promotions for the up-coming film “Cowboys and Aliens,” the debut of Motorola’s Xoom, and a Sketchers campaign featuring Kim Kardashian are also in queue.

Anticipate an inundation of pleas to “Like us” and/or “Follow us,” accompanying a flood of Facebook contests that somehow tie into the Super Bowl.  The question is which ones will stand out among the rest and which ones will be left behind.

One contender to look out for is Mercedes-Benz and the launch of  “The World’s First Twitter-Fueled Race,” which will award cars to a two-person team that gains the most Mercedes-Benz tweets and Facebook “likes.” Its competitor, Audi, is also planning to compete with glitzy trips and other prizes awarded to fans whose social media posts are most original and most numerous.

Mercedes Benz Tweet Race

Besides its contribution to Super Bowl ads, social media is also playing a unique role in behind-the-scenes access to the athletes.  This is the first year NFL players are tweeting en masse with all of their uncensored opinions and other game-day commentaries.  If the 140-character hate-a-thon from former NFL greats on Chicago Bears quaterback, Jay Cutler, is any indication of what is to come, then we’re in for a real tweet treat – so be sure to have your Twitter feed up and running!

(Sources: www.post-gazette.com, www.b2cmarketinginsider.com, www.usatoday.com)

Social Media as a Customer Service Channel

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