Why the Super Bowl made me frown

I'm truly disappointed at Super Bowl 2012, and I'll tell you why.

I gladly took about an hour of my evening to see all this year's Super Bowl ads, on one hand because I love advertising, and on another because I was quite curious to see what brands were up to regarding social media integration.

And… how shall I say this? Integrated marketing must have lost its way to this year's Super Bowl campaigns, because I don't think I really saw it 90% of the time. What I did see was lots of ads (lots of stupid ones, by the way, and on the other end a genius piece from First Bank, by far my favorite one this year) who embraced this opportunity in quite a "first thoughty" and old-fashioned way: craft a funny, intelligent or emotional concept, deliver the ad, reap benefits.

Except it's time we level up and start thinking about the customer journey as a whole, and leaving social media out of the equation just starts to feel sad. I bet Gary Vaynerchuk must be twisting and screaming on the inside.

Not all of it is bad news: I found two (two!) examples of social integration done right.

The first example, which also appeals to me for personal reasons (disclaimer: I used to be a comic book geek), is The Avengers ad (which purposely drove you to Facebook for more trailer footage and information) — simple and well executed. Not earth-shattering, but well done.

The second example is that of Coca-Cola, which clearly achieved strategic brilliance this year. Two major pros here: first, they created a Facebook event to communicate how the Polar Bears would be commenting the game in real time; second, they created two different spots to air the most appropriate one according to the game results — yes, you read correctly. If there's something called social media integration in your above-the-line communications, I have to say this is one of the best examples I've seen yet. Ever. And please, check out this Ad Age piece with more information on Coke's Super Bowl strategy and results, it will be worth your while.

Punchline: I expected more this year. I really did. If it takes 54 ads to see one great example of integrated marketing done right... Ouch.