The Super Bowl is the media event of the year. The avalanche of interviews and marketing, therefore, makes this football game the year's most important media literacy opportunity. Marquee corporations roll out big bucks to parade alluring ads on TV. High-profile teams brand their players to create celebrities out of athletes. The logos of NFL franchises are splayed across innumerable billboards, banners, and bulletins.
Television viewers, and especially children, need to be schooled in the sophistication of this marketing barrage. They need to understand the wit and complexity of the multi-sensory campaign. In 2013, more than ever, the key persuasive platform for communication and persuasion will be social media.
During last year's contest, viewers sent 13.4 million tweets in commenting on the game. Of those, 1.2 million focused solely on the commercials. At the peak, 12,233 tweets per second crisscrossed hyperspace. This season's social media interplay is expected to dwarf last year's figures. If the record number of tweets during the London Summer Olympics and November's presidential election were any indications, this Super Bowl may notch a modern gold standard in social media expression.
|Source: FastCoDesign and Elefint Designs (click for detail)|
|Source: Sysomos (click for detail)|
Another infographic from Sysomos presents "The Social Media Guide To Super Bowl XLVII." This detailed presentation lays out the degree of fan support, as well as the winners of social media opinion. A separate visual, entitled "The Road To Super Bowl XLVII," examines how the teams match up competitively.
For teaching students about the impact of communication and messaging, one of the best resources comes from Frank W. Baker in his feature on "Using Super Bowl Ads In The Classroom." A guru of media literacy education, Baker offers excellent lesson plans, news articles, and streaming video clips to encourage healthy skepticism when viewing TV ads. He presents key questions to consider in analyzing the impact of Super Bowl commercials. We've admired Baker's work before in teaching young learners about the broad realm of media marketing.