By Mike Mulvihill
Our client, Network Solutions, opted to harness the power of social media instead of shelling out $3 million for a 30 second Super Bowl commercial. And for a fraction of the cost, they generated over 17 million Twitter impressions and 35,000 views of a parody video – and still counting.
The video is a take-off on domain registrar competitor Go Daddy’s sexy Super Bowl ads of the past several years. This funny video features octogenarian celebrity actor, Cloris Leachman, as “Go Granny,” the original poster girl who’s past her prime, but still believes she’s one smokin’ hot babe that can sell websites and domains. Go Granny thinks she’s just one phone call away from taking the “sisters” back to the Super Bowl. This became even more topical when GoDaddy unveiled its new third hot girl – 77-year-old tongue-in-cheek spokesbabe, Joan Rivers.
GoGranny is nowhere near the scale ($20 million) of non-Super Bowl advertiser Pepsi Refresh’s social media campaign. But it also is nowhere near the scale of the combination broadcast ad-social media campaign campaigns employed by virtually every advertiser in this year championship game. Yes, social media figured prominently as an add-on for several Super Bowl advertisers, albeit to mixed reviews. According to Lost Remote, Audi’s Twitter hashtag was so small on the screen that they nearly missed it, while they were immensely amused by Chevy Cruze’s new Facebook feature which uses OnStar to listen to Facebook updates while you drive.
But Network Solutions bravely opted for a comparatively small-scale, social only campaign. With Twitter traffic at a fever pitch from Christina Aguilera’s mangling of the national anthem to advertising and game action, Go Granny garnered a lot of attention. Blog activity was also intense. YouTube video views were about one for every three views of GoDaddy’s online video (sans the multiple $3 million spots to generate the traffic). Overall, I call that a success for generating brand awareness and even traffic to the Network Solutions storefront home page.
Next year’s big game will likely bring more brands out onto the social media playing field sans the big ticket “first screen” commercials to generate traffic. But, this year, Network Solutions had a cameo.