Super Bowl and Social TV: is this the twilight of check-in based systems?

super bowl 2012


Let’s say it straight: this post is not about the Super Bowl buzz on Social Media. There’s no doubt the nice people at Radian 6 or Mashable are already working on some sweet infographics about the share of voice, the viral reach, the main hashtags and stuff like that.

And to be clear, this is not about the best Super Bowl commercials, even if I can actually say that automotive played a primary role (and please check out the Volkswagen one… “The Dog Strikes Back”, too awesome!).

If you were online during the show – or if you want you can still do it now – #BrandBowl was the hashtag to keep an eye on; you can also check out this interesting post by Alluminate (Acsys Interactive’s blog) about the importance of brands and Twitter at the Super Bowl.

Anyways: this post is about the Super Bowl seen through Social TVs like Miso and GetGlue – let’s not focus on Connect TV for now, they just launched a few days ago.


Yesterday GetGlue sent me an email with a recap of all the badges available during the event:

getglue superbowl check in

And there’s more: on their blog there was a complete road-map to conquer all the rewards during the different parts of the Super Bowl, with a nice map showing all the different steps.

So it was all right… until the beginning of the match: you could get two badges offered by Pepsi by simply checking-in (again???) at Super Bowl and mentioning the words “Pepsi” and “Maxi”.

getglue badges

I started having some doubts:

  • So I can write whatever I want as long as I use those two words? Which means I could also write offensive stuff and no one will check/filter?
  • If I decide to deflag the Facebook e Twitter share there will be no brand buzz outside GetGlue… which in my opinion is a #fail.
  • What’s the relationship between the activity and the brand? Sharing my results – and the fact that the sticker will be there on my list – might eventually increase my visibility, but what do I really get from it? Two badges? I think we evolved a little bit, and we do have a memory as consumers (why didn’t Pepsi make – let’s say – a Michael Jackson-themed badge to unlock after a quiz?).
  • I already checked-in at Super Bowl, and I do it again to get the badges: does it count twice? In my streaming I can see it twice… be careful, dear Getglue: double counting is never good for analytics metrics.

Anyways, I checked-in with a really dull question:

Pepsi superbowl

After that, the conversation got on fire. What I thought it was just a goofy attempt to unlock the two badges, became a collective series of question from GetGluers, and a huge discussion (check it out here!) on how to get rewards and “instructions” to unlock them step-by-step.

After someone told me to copy/paste some text to unlock a badge, I started having some big big doubts (bigger than the ones I expressed before): what’s the brand getting from all of this? I tried to share my thoughts, but everyone seems to be only focused on how to do the next check-in properly (like the Madonna one during the Half Time Show) and some people actually gave me credits me for being a collector of advices and instructions!

Results? I got myself a couple of “agree”, but I’m still not satisfied because that probably just wasn’t the right place to talk about it…


superbowl getglue

And then, the devices part. That also was interesting: no problems for the check-ins during the Super Bowl, but the extra badges could be unlocked only via Web, according to what a GetGluer told me (by the way, I wasn’t able to do it through Safari for iPhone).

superbowl check ins


In the meanwhile, on Miso the sideshow offered by Hyundai was going on. Basically, sideshows are extra contents that Miso made available a while ago: a smart mix of advertising, statistics and interesting miscellaneous news and facts.


Actually even on Miso the check-ins unlocked a series of themed badges, still offered by Hyundai. The South Korean automotive company was capable of boosting the reach of the commercials aired during the game through badges and slideshows. But still, this was way less disturbing than the strategy adopted by GetGlue.

Hyundai superbowl

Even if I’m still not quite sure about the management of the sideshows (we will discuss this on the next post), I think I like the content-driven Miso strategy more. I also started considering the fact that the check-ins and badges era could be over (ironically, the first post I wrote for Young Digital Lab was called “The Badges Gold Rush” – but it was written in December 2010). The synchronization and the offering of consistent extra contents seem to be the most promising path to follow for this kind of apps and platforms.

So… the end of this post is clearly a teaser for my next article: in the next days I will post some thoughts about what will happen in the rapidly-changing world of Social TV. Stay tuned!

Emanuela Zaccone


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