For Super Bowl XLVII, Coca-Cola is launching “a game in the game.” The soft drinks giant, which won the hearts of the US audience with its 2012 Polar Bowl (one of the most talked about campaigns of the event), this year decided to focus on the spirit of rivalry and chase. The brand has launched a multimedia campaign, which engages fans with a 60-second spot titled “Mirage” and a dedicated website, allowing to vote and decide which 30-second spot will launch right after the game, slated for February 3.
The new campaign, developed by Wieden & Kennedy, includes the introductory spot (it has already launched online and will debut on TV during the game), which features three groups—Badlanders, Cowboys and Showgirls—who are racing through desert sands towards the Coke’s bottle, which turns to be a simple “go 50 miles ahead” sign. Audience can help the fractions by supporting them and sabotaging their rivals online. The voting will run until the very last second of the Super Bowl broadcast, and the final wining spot will arrive immediately after the game.
So far, the sabotage option is locked (it will be available in 11 days, on the Game Day), but fans can watch short videos to see how they can delay the competitors for some seconds—by asking them to pose for a picture (girls), slowing them down at the stoplight, or making them jump the rope. Users are also encouraged to share the content via social media channels. In three of 15 sabotaging videos, Coke showcases a Domino’s Pizza delivery guy—it’s not another mirage, the soda brand featured the chain in the spots as part of their partnership (it’s the first time Coke integrated other brand into its Super Bowl ads).
It’s a big decision for Coca-Cola to switch to another Super Bowl ad theme, while the previous one was a huge success. The polar bear promotion, which engaged 9 million people across various platforms, was a fresh move for 2012, but this year, Coca-Cola doesn’t only make the campaign highly interactive, but also rolls it across multiple social media channels—Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube,—with different contents for each platform. “Custom content has been crafted for a host of platforms, including Behind-the-scenes photos from the ‘Mirage’ shoot are prepped for Instagram, there are animated gifs for Tumblr, as well as ‘trading cards’ with details about the characters. A press conference with the losers has been recorded for YouTube,” writes Ad Age. “Despite the big success of Polar Bowl, we were not looking to repeat the bears, necessarily. We were looking to see what learnings we could take and reapply. The importance of second-screen behavior, social and digital were big themes on that front,” commented Pio Schunker, senior VP-integrated marketing at Coca-Cola North America, to the source.
Coca-Cola’s major rival PepsiCo is also engaging the audience—Pepsi asked its fans to upload their photos for the chance to appear in an on-air introduction, which will welcome Beyonce (the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show performer) to the stage. The list of other brands, which are buying advertising slots during the game, include Anheuser-Busch InBev, Chrysler, M&M’s, Kia, Volkswagen to name but a few (find them here, on Ad Age, along with the agencies and creative, the list is updated every time changes come).