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Twitter Ups Its Game in Super Bowl Ads

Every year the Super Bowl is always just as much about ads as it is about football, but this year half the Super Bowl ads will include Twitter hashtags in their game-time spots.

That's up from just a handful of hash tags in Super Bowl ads last year, and from just one hash tag in Super Bowl ads 2 years ago.

Twitter is expecting thousands of tweets-per-second, making it one of its biggest events ever. Tweets have become such a powerful tool for advertisers that Nielsen, which last year announced a partnership with Twitter, is releasing a new metric to show the value of the "second screen."

Here's an amazing statistic: a Nielsen study revealed that a third of people using Twitter are tweeting about content they're watching. And Twitter found that 65 percent of people are accessing Twitter via mobile devices while watching television.

This second screen experience is transforming the way people watch TV, and now it's starting to revolutionize the way advertisers communicate with customers.

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"What we're seeing this year is that leading up to the Super Bowl, during and after, the game, Twitter is playing an amazing role," said Joel Lunenfeld, Twitter's VP of Global Brand Strategy.

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Budweiser | Twitter

Twitter is offering advertisers a number of ways to connect with customers around the Super Bowl. Bowl advertisers can buy promoted tweets and trends around the game to ensure that people watching and talking about the game are also seeing their message on the second screen.

And thanks to some new tools Twitter introduced last year, marketers can now target specific demographics — like women over the age of 35 who love football. The social-networking site isn't just cashing in on advertisers who are spending on Super Bowl Ads, but also helping other advertisers connect around hot topics of the day.

So, it's no surprise that the Super Bowl will be a cash cow for Twitter. The private company won't reveal any details about ad prices or how much it'll bring in from this year's Super Bowl, but Lunenfeld noted "it's really a good boom for our business. There's absolutely high demand." And that demand, Lunenfeld added, is much stronger than last year.

In addition, marketers are now using Twitter to make ads an interactive experience. It's what advertisers call "paid-plus-earned" media, which means advertisers are paying to reach consumers, but they're also benefitting from the attention and goodwill they've earned with their content.

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For example, Toyota is running Promoted Tweets and a Promoted Trend for its RAV4 car, turning the Super Bowl ad into an interactive experience. Consumers can win a chance to appear in the commercial by submitting photos via Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #wishgranted.

And some advertisers are simply looking to get customers involved — and feeling invested — ahead of the big game. Budweiser, which just this week launched its first Twitter account, is soliciting Twitter and Facebook followers to help name a baby Clydesdale, which appears in a Super Bowl spot. Audi is asking its social media followers to tweet their bravest moments with the hashtag #Braverywins.

—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin; Follow her on Twitter: @JBoorstin

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.