Brands kick off CRM at big game

Once the domain of splashy branding campaigns, this year’s Super Bowl broadcast will feature ads built around social media and loyalty marketing. Coca Cola Co., Denny’s and are three major marketers that will take this direct marketing approach.

Denny’s plans to use its Super Bowl TV spot to raise awareness around its social media promotion to win a year’s free Grand Slam meals, along with other giveaways. The idea is to drive fans to its Facebook fan community. The social network, which provides members exclusive offers and coupons, is a significant component of the brand’s loyalty strategy.

“Denny’s saw a huge opportunity this year to bring people in through this giveaway,” said Alan Miller, co-founder/co-owner of Filter Creative Group, the agency running the social media effort. It will enable the restaurant chain to retain customers online through a variety of social interactions, he added.

The “Chicken Warning” TV ad was created by ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and it promotes the chance to win a free Grand Slam meal, while warning chickens to get out of town because “it’s going to be a tough week for egg layers.” The playful spot calls viewers online to enter the giveaway.

Denny’s will launch five new webisodes the week after the big game exclusively on Facebook, featuring the same characters in an ongoing storyline. Denny’s aim is to grow its audience and increase loyalty among fans.

“The Super Bowl is no longer just a one-day, three-hour advertising event,” said Jon Swallen, SVP Research at TNS Media Intelligence. “It is now more like a three- to five-week advertising event, with a lot of brands focusing on the period leading up to it and the period after to do social media marketing.”

These efforts are a response to consumer interest. Forty-eight percent of online US adults who watch Super Bowl ads say they are somewhat likely to discuss the ads on a social networking site, according to a poll by Hanon McKendry/Mindscape conducted online this month by Harris Interactive.

Fans on the Facebook page will receive offers and are asked to opt in to Denny’s loyalty program at its Web site, Loyalty members will receive exclusive coupons and offers and will be re-marketed to throughout the year.

“Previously, you saw social media create content, and now you are seeing Super Bowl ads as a spring board for a social media strategy,” said Augie Ray, senior analyst, social computing at Forrester Research.

However, he cautions there needs to be an ongoing commitment: “If you are going to use the Super Bowl to drive people into a social environment where they join and participate, it is up to brands to keep that dialog going, to encourage the consumers to have a reason to reengage.” is using the Super Bowl to help build awareness of its recent site revamp, which includes new social networking features. The job site is integrating social media marketing into this year’s TV spots to help stretch their campaign dollars beyond the three-hour game. Monster’s spending related to the Super Bowl was flat compared to 2009.

Some marketers are paying less. Last year a 30-second Super Bowl ad went for $3 million, according to TNS Media. The recessionary environment is expected to yield lower pricing for the 2010 game, with 30-second units reportedly running between $2.5 and $2.8 million.

“From an overall marketing spend, the economy has forced us — like most marketers — to do more with less,” said Jeff Greenler, VP of marketing at Monster. “We’ve become very efficient, and that’s why we’re tapping into viral and social extensions.”

The first Monster TV spot debuted on January 24 and featured an unhappy “Boogeyman,” who finds more desirable work as a CPA on the job site. The company created a Facebook application based on the “Boogeyman” creative. The campaign’s second ad in the series, which features a beaver who plays the fiddle, will run during the Super Bowl. This character will also be featured in ongoing social media work. BBDO created the ads.

“What’s different this year is, in addition to the microsites and user generated content, we will be deepening our engagement with the brand extending the campaign more broadly through a robust presence on both Twitter and Facebook,” said Greenler.

The goal of the Monster TV and social effort is to get people to sign up and use the Monster site.

Pepsi has been the subject of a lot of blogging and social chatter leading up to the Super Bowl with its bold move to reject the game’s TV spots after 23 years. Instead, the giant is spending $20 million on its cause-related CRM and social media platform called the Pepsi Refresh Project.

“Our beverage brands’ marketing strategy in 2010 [is] less about a singular event and more about a movement,” Nicole Bradley, spokesperson for PepsiCo told DMNews in January.

Rival Coca-Cola is not abandoning TV. To relaunch the Live Positively extension of its Open Happiness CRM program and social community, it is using the Super Bowl.

Coca-Cola launched its social community promotion on January 27. On the Facebook fan page, consumers can share a special Facebook “virtual gift” with friends and family in exchange for a 20-second preview of one of the two new Super Bowl spots.

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