Twitter’s Super Bowl Contest: How to NOT Keep it Simple

Posted on February 7, 2012


Maybe it’s just me but Twitter’s attempt to prolong the buzz that surrounds the Superbowl ads with what they are calling an “ad scrimmage” seems way too complicated.

According to an article on Fast Company’s Co.Create Web site, Twitter is sponsoring a competition to see which ads can maintain their buzz in the week following the big game.

Here’s how the article explains the concept, “Fans vote by tweeting and directing their followers to the custom ad gallery on the Super Bowl website. Ads that get the most votes move to the top of the list, and the winner gets a free Promoted Trend on Twitter.”

Maybe I’m just getting old but I’ve read that a few times and still don’t completely understand it. Let me try to break it down into the steps:

  1. Fans vote for their favorite ads by tweeting about them and including a link to the gallery of Super Bowl ads where their followers can go to see all the ads.
  2. Those people then do the same, tweeting about their favorite ad.
  3. The ad that gets tweeted the most wins a promoted trend for the company.

OK that’s a little convoluted especially when you consider that I have no idea how people will know this gallery of ads exists in the first place or that there is a contest related to it.

Then there’s the fact that the contest doesn’t reward anyone who participates. It rewards a brands for paying all that money to run a spot in the Superbowl.

And just in case you thought that it almost makes sense, when you go to the Ad Scrimmage page there is a Tweet button that, if you click on it, creates this message you can send to your Twitter followers, ” Watch, vote, and tweet your favorite Super Bowl commercial to #AdScrimmage victory!”

It isn’t until you click on an ad to watch it that the chance to tweet your “vote” for that ad appears. And, of course, there are no instructions posted. You have to figure all this out for yourself.

This is a great reminder that when it comes to any sort of promotion, social media or otherwise, it’s easy to get lost in the joy of creation and forget the most important rule of all; keep it simple stupid.