The Age of the DVR

I hardly watch commercials on TV anymore, since we skip through a lot of them using our DVR. This has had the unexpected result that when we do watch a show live, more commercials actually seem entertaining to me, I suppose due to the lack of over-saturation from TV ads.

And of course half the fun of watching the Super Bowl stems from seeing what great new campaigns are being launched.

Increasingly, Superbowl ads, and TV advertising in general, will feature a mobile component: Nearly 60 percent of mobile users planned to look at or use their mobile device during the Super Bowl, according to a survey from Velti and Harris Interactive.

So, how will we engage in these “Second Screen Experiences”?

Get your QR code scanner ready

I’ve observed an increase in the use of QR codes in TV commercials. While QR codes are everywhere these days, I feel a 30 second commercial is often not enough time to whip out your smartphone and scan the code in time. But special offers, QR based coupons and exclusive timed deals may have some folks ready to “quick draw”.

  • To me, QR codes are more suited to static / printed media.


I would predict that there will be a host of apps advertised or mentioned in Superbowl TV commercials, perhaps too many to open and interact with. From the NFL’s official superbowl app to Domino’s Pizza’s “Pizza Hero”, there will be many apps to interact with.

  • Will there be time to watch the game anymore?

Mobile Ready Web Sites

Having mobile enabled web sites will be a big advantage for second screen advertising, as few people will be using laptops as their “Superbowl Second Screen” of choice. It is far more likely that smartphones prevail in this category.

  • For brands advertising during the Super Bowl, a mobile ready web site, with flexible content layout optimized to smartphones will be a huge plus.

Messaging and Social Media

I feel text messaging and pusgh notifications will be used sparingly by brands, as the annoyance factor could be quite big. However I see push notifications as being central in the use of Social Media apps, and I think much of the interactive “Did you just see that!!!” conversions will happen on Facebook, Twitter, SMS and the like.

  • I hope SIRI can cope.

In 2011, Nielsen found that Super Bowl ads including social media tags that directed viewers to a link on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube were more 33 percent more memorable for viewers. “Advertisers are seeing second-screen opportunities as a natural move to drive engagement in the moment of big-screen advertising – especially when it comes at such a premium as the Super Bowl,” said David Hewitt, Atlanta-based global mobile practice lead at SapientNitro. “Adding an interactive component on smart phone or tablet both extends the time spent, gives consumers an opportunity to participate, and leverages a more cost-effective and measurable channel to continue the brand conversation.”

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