There was a Super Bowl gathering at my abode, and in between cooking, conversation and conviviality around the Saints, we Googled, blogged and surfed the social networks. Because we work in the business, our web use centered around the Super Bowl advertising. And while most commercials were disappointing, there were some stood out from the overdone guy humor that was abundant this year. I am not going to get into my opinion of what advertising was good, bad or ugly – you can find more than enough commentary about that here, here and here. I want to talk about is the morphing of the event into an online social experience.
Watching the Super Bowl has always been a social event: friends gather, eat, drink, boo and cheer. The advent of social media made our parties grow exponentially over the last couple of years as we interacted with those we knew online in addition to those watching the game with us in person. Last year, 12% of Super Bowl viewers were online during the game, according to Mashable. But this year, rather than having to search out the pertinent discussions on Twitter and Facebook separately, communities have developed around areas of interest, be it sports, food or advertising. Hashtags are now used more consistently, making search for relevant commentary outside those communities easier, too. With these community hubs and hashtag prevalence, our online interactions have gone from just the people we know (and the people they know) to introductions to people, content and views we might never have stumbled upon before. And just when we thought we couldn’t be more connected to the world.
I didn’t want the Super Bowl fun to end last night. In years past, I have only watched the Super Bowl for the commercials, and even then become bored by the second half. Last night was different, it was bigger and it felt like my world expanded just a little bit more. And that is always a good thing for the curious being that is me.
For fun, here is my favorite commercial of the night. Although, as it turns out, it has been around for a few months, last night was my first viewing.