In preparation for Super Bowl LVI, which is being played this Sunday, all of the major social platforms are rolling out new tools and insights to help both fans and brands engage with the event.
The Super Bowl has become a major focus for brands on social, with trending tie-ins providing the opportunity to reach large, engaged audiences. While for users, people are always looking for ways to take part in the event, even when they can't physically be present - which has been especially true over the last couple of years amid varying COVID-19 restrictions.
Here's a look at what each platform has in place for Super Bowl LVI, and how you can participate via your platform of choice.
Meta’s main Super Bowl focus this year will be themed digital clothing for its recently updated 3D avatars, which can now be used across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram Stories.
After dressing up your avatar for the occasion, you can then share images of your digital caricature via various stickers and animated applications across Meta’s apps, with the new, interoperable avatars better enabling you to create a singular digital identity for various uses.
In this way, the Super Bowl serves as a showcase for these new avatar tools, which Meta’s looking to develop as a new way for users to express themselves, both now, and in the next phase of digital connection. If Meta can embed its 3D avatars as key representations of people in the digital space, that could help it better link users into its next-level experiences, and keep them aligned to its platforms for that process.
And for an extra metaverse-aligned kick, Meta will also host a free concert by the Foo Fighters immediately after the big game, which will be streamed on Facebook and Instagram, while it will also be broadcast in Horizon Venues in VR, a sort of preview of the next stage of digital concert experiences.
As is par for the course for most major events, Twitter has implemented hashflags - or emoji linked to hashtags - for the two teams, as well as for #SBLVI.
Twitter's also sharing selected Super Bowl tweets from users direct to the rooftop LED screen on SoFi Stadium.
Tweet your wildest Super Bowl LVI prediction in 6 words or less— Twitter Sports (@TwitterSports) January 31, 2022
You'll never guess where it might end up pic.twitter.com/MtVVpZXsBM
And lastly, Twitter will also once again be running its ‘Brand Bowl’ event, which awards the most talked about Super Bowl brand campaigns, in a range of categories, based on tweet activity.
That can provide some interesting insight into what’s working on Twitter, and how brands are looking to tap into real-time focus and engagement on the platform.
Snapchat’s looking to help its users engage with the event by hosting three unique Discover shows from the NFL in the lead-up to the game, while it’s also adding ‘National World Lens’ inspired by the NFL’s National TV spot that will play at halftime.
Users of the NFL One Pass app, meanwhile, will also be able to unlock a special AR experience.
AR has become a key celebratory component in Snap, with users engaging with sponsored AR Lenses during the last Super Bowl and lead-up over 200 million times.
Snapchat’s team will also be monitoring the Snap Map Stories around SoFi Stadium, and creating a special Super Bowl Story to help people experience close-up views of the sights and sounds on the ground at the event.
That can be a great resource for researching the latest promotional approaches from big brands - and with Super Bowl ad slots going for around $6.5 million per 30-seconds, you can bet that there’ll be some big, impressive campaigns linking into the game.
Parent company Google has also provided its obligatory trend maps, with this year’s research highlighting the most search wing flavors:
And most search teams, based on Google search activity:
TikTok will once again be hosting its Super Bowl Tailgate event, this time headlined by The Chainsmokers.
@nfl SUPER BOWL SUNDAY ‼️ #TikTokTailgate is back and so are @thechainsmokers ???? #superbowl ♬ umm.. yeah - andrew
TikTok will also be a big focus for many brands this year, which will likely see the platform awash with tie-in campaigns and clips as the game gets underway.
As usual, there’s a range of options for fans to engage with the event - though it does seem like the Super Bowl has gotten a little less focus from the platforms than it has in the past. Which is surprising, given that user engagement ramps up significantly around the Super Bowl – but then again, each platform has its own focus project, and with brands also looking to leverage social apps with their Super Bowl campaigns, you can bet that there’ll be a lot of chatter and interaction in each.