Have you had your fill of advertisements for the year? After the big game two weekends ago, you’ve probably seen enough party-going senior citizens munching on Taco Bell, and runners chasing down cheetahs in Sketchers (or perhaps you’re still re-watching your favorites). The Super Bowl and advertisements have become nearly synonymous, and there’s no doubt that it’s a great venue to advertise.  Maybe you think it’s still the best place to be seen. However, the age of advertising solely offline is over. We are now seeing a bridge being made between offline and online advertising that is no likely to be broken anytime soon.

If you think back to those Super Bowl ads, do you recall those hash tags and Facebook URLs that appeared at the end? Over 80% of the ads that appeared during the Super Bowl had an online call to action1. Hash tags for Twitter (presumably, although they could have been used on Google+ and Instagram as well) were used by 29 different brands. Many advertisers also released teasers of their ads online before they actually aired. Doritos encouraged consumers to submit videos online advertising the chips, and the top three would be shown during the game. Toyota asked people to Instagram pictures with the hash tag #WishGranted, which also had the potential to appear on TV. Social media and advertising are bridging the gap between online and offline advertising, but why is this important?

Why Social Media Is Important for Advertising

Online advertising and social media platforms have grown extensively over the last decade. As more and more advertising and branding moves online, companies may be concerned about the viability of their TV and static adverts. However, as we saw during the Super Bowl, these offline forms of adverts are starting to bridge the gap by offering viewers ways to interact with the brand online. Whether it’s liking a picture of Oreos on Instagram or mentioning the ad in a Tweet with #PepsiHalftime, this online presence allows users to bond with the brand and talk about a commercial in a way no plain TV ad ever could.

Social media is a means to talk about the present moment, not the show that aired on Tuesday that you recorded and are now watching on Friday. That’s not interesting on social media sites. Moreover, this encourages consumers to view events and shows as they are aired. If you don’t watch it live, you risk spoiler posts overflowing your news feed. This is good news for advertisers, whose ads can be easily skipped in a recorded show.

Advertising is no longer just an offline game. In fact, people rely on the Internet more and more to make purchase decisions. As social media and online advertising continue to grow in popularity, companies need to ensure they have on online presence. If you allow a place for consumers to interact with your brand prior to making their purchase, you can increase your brand awareness and affiliation. Social media is quickly transforming advertising. It is giving television ads new meaning, and allowing for interaction outside the screen. It’s bridging a gap between offline and online advertising in a huge way.

Want to read more about the relationship between social media and television advertising? Check out these articles:

1. Fox, Vanessa. “Commercials of the 2013 Super Bowl: Over 80% Had An Online Call To Action.” Marketing Land. February 4, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013. (http://marketingland.com/commercials-of-the-2013-super-bowl-what-were-they-trying-to-accomplish-32465).