The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 31, 2013

Ready to rumble: Super Bowl fans get in the game

— NEW YORK (AP) — You don't have to be a football player to be a part of the action on Super Bowl Sunday.

Coca-Cola is asking people to vote for an online match between three groups competing in a desert for a Coke on Game Day. Pepsi and Toyota are using viewers' photos in their ads. Audi let people choose the end of its Super Bowl ad, while Lincoln based its spot on more 6,000 tweets from fans about their road trips.

"We drove passed an alpaca farm, a few of them were meandering on the highway and my sister screamed, "It's the Alpacalypse!")," reads one tweet in Lincoln's Super Bowl ad that features rapper Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons and Wil Wheaton, who acted in the iconic science-fiction series "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Advertisers have found new ways to get viewers into the game online. And they're going well beyond encouraging fans to tweet or "like" their ads on websites like Twitter Facebook.

They're trying to get the most of their Super Bowl ads, which cost nearly $4 million a pop. Companies that advertise during the Super Bowl get a 20 percent increase in Web traffic on the day of the game, according to the analytics arm of software maker Adobe. They also have a higher online audience than average in the week after.

"We're seeing better and more unique ways of getting people involved," said Robert Kolt, an advertising instructor at Michigan State University. "You want people to be engaged."

PepsiCo, which is sponsoring the Super Bowl halftime show, said its goal was to create buzz online with a monthlong campaign that went well beyond a voiceover saying "brought to you by Pepsi." T

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