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Super Bowl XLVII in the Age of Big Data-Powered Advertising

Written on
Jan 29, 2013 
Author
Rick Farnell  |

Super Bowl XLVII LogoSuper Bowl Sunday is coming up, and while it’s always a time for advertisers to flex their creative muscles, this year we can expect brands to take their creativity a step further with targeted messages and ads. The real game changer this year will be how advertisers use Big Data to engage consumers in a more compelling way.

Here are a few near-term predictions on how Big Data will change traditional advertising:

  • Technology has evolved to the point of giving cable and satellite TV service providers the ability to dish up highly customized ads. Google, LinkedIn and Facebook started the targeted ad era, but what’s new is that advertisers are now able to use Big Data technologies to collect information from their websites, social media pages as well as offline consumer data to more precisely tailor messages to very narrowly-defined audiences.
  • Advertisers have been leveraging the Internet’s long tail, targeting niche sites with small, but passionate audiences. But the Big Data solutions of today can link brands to football players that have enthusiastic fan bases. For smaller brands, this can be a way to get in the game at reasonable prices by aligning their less-known brand with more regional players, and combining data from social media, websites, and fantasy leagues, advertisers can define niche markets by more than just geography.
  • Increasingly, players are being rewarded for their ability to engage fans off as well as on the field. Tracking a player’s media profile is expensive: teams hire public relations firms to take on the time-consuming chore of scouring hundreds of news sources. Technology is allowing the process to be automated: software agents are replacing humans, crawling social media and news sites and generating reports about a player’s brand for a fraction of the cost.

This is just the beginning. Here are a few possibilities that stretch the boundaries of traditional advertising:

  • Imagine an app that would let viewers play “coach”. Not only could they call the next play, they could see how their judgment matches up against other viewers, other teams (that have found themselves in similar situations), and even see how their strategy stands up historically. Advertisers could reward viewers whose plays most closely match those of the winning team.
  • The day is coming when advertising is not going to be a “one and done” impression. Truly linking long running actions over time and experience in multi channels will likely be coming. For instance, the Super Bowl game is approximately three hours of what could be construed as viewers being held “captive.” What can advertisers to keep viewers, especially if the game is one-sided or a particularly slow-paced event? What about a commercial that unfolds over the course of the game requiring viewers to stay tuned to the entire event not only on television, but also engaging with the advertisers in real-time on social media or online properties, in order to receive a discount or gift?
  • What about expanding the definition of what constitutes a “season ticket”? Fans could buy tickets to an online experience that mimics that of the season-ticket holder using cameras perched from the best seats in the stadium. It would offer at-home viewers a unique experience (the game would come with special online features like exclusive interviews with players and coaches) and give advertisers another opportunity to reach a targeted audience.

As data allows human interactions and experiences to become personalized, we can expect to see companies across all industries create new value tailored to the individual consumer. And the uses of data are almost limitless. Imagine the day when football teams have data analytics at their fingertips — not just the fans or advertisers. That will certainly bring the Super Bowl to an entirely new level. For now, we’ll be tuning in on Sunday to see how our predictions line up.





As President of Think Big Analytics, Rick brings over 18 years of experience in high technology consulting and management, and work with clients in the retail, automotive, logistics, financial services, high technology, manufacturing, and oil and gas industries. Rick developed and managed successful regional consulting practices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, and managed a global division within Sun Microsystems Software Practice. At Sun, Rick was instrumental in developing a worldwide initiative and strategic partnership between Sun and Accenture, and assisted in the acquisition integration of mySQL prior to the acquisition of Sun by Oracle.

Rick directed global organizations at SeeBeyond, eXcelon, and C-Bridge Internet Solutions. Rick was an early member of C-Bridge and helped develop the company's consulting methodology and practices, and led projects for many of the company's largest clients. His leadership helped grow the firm to employ over 900 consultants and led to a successful IPO in 1999. Rick is Founder of Rapid Formation which helps incubate, fund and scale startup technology companies.

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