Fans of Super Bowl Begin to Catch Up to Fans of Super Heroes

It’s the morning after Super Bowl XLVII (and only three years from the sure to be much mocked Super Bowl L) and sprinkled into the annual debate over which brands’ ads scored and which fell short of completion are discussions of the supposed emergence of social media as the MVP of marketing integration and consumer engagement.

To be sure, the utilization of Twitter feeds and Facebook postings as extensions of brand campaigns were never quite as prevalent or well orchestrated as they were last night – particularly during the surprise 34-minute power outage that plunged half of the Superdome into darkness. While waiting for the lights to come back on, and after joking to friends that this was the best Oreo promotional stunt ever, sure enough the folks at Nabisco thought fast and acted even faster, posting the following on Facebook:

Even quicker on the draw was State Farm, a brand that wasn’t even a Super Bowl advertiser:

In any event, what’s being lauded as a watershed moment in social media marketing is something that brands and content providers who regularly connect with consumers of comic culture have long recognized. There’s nothing more powerful – and potentially persuasive – than the passion of the fan. More than 5 million of them weigh in every second of every hour of every day with a yea or nay on everything from Star Trek’s new cast to Superman’s new costume. This is an audience for whom being the first to know is critical social currency. And if you’re not talking directly to them – and speaking their language – then you’re leaving what could be your brand’s most valuable advocates totally in the dark.