Because my Pittsburgh Steelers’ mediocre season didn’t propel them into this year’s Super Bowl, this weekend I will be paying more attention to the media experience as a whole rather than the game itself. The premier media event of the year, the Superbowl has come to both signify and magnify the larger trends in the digitalization of media content. It not only represents what’s becoming the new best practice in tactics for advertisers (e.g. using social video sharing sites to pre-release some material to create blogosphere buzz, like Budweiser’s sneakpeak this week on Youtube). It also offers a venue for high-profile pioneering experimentation which push the boundaries of digital advertising (like unique mobile interaction with advertisements). Of course this makes sense, as Steven R. Schreibman puts it, “The Super Bowl is the only media property where the advertising is as big a story as the content of the show so you want to see how much you can leverage it.”
But it’s funny to think back only to last year that it was real news that the Super Bowl ads would be available after the game on a multitude of platforms – mobile, VoD, online, etc. – after the game. And now a year later, that is to be expected. Of course I should be able to see them whenever and however I want! For all of the hype and overanalysis of this media spectacle, the event truly has come to lead the way in reflecting advertisers use of multiple digital mediums in what is becoming an increasingly post 30-second spot world.