NEW YORK: Brands advertising during the Super Bowl, the NFL's championship game, have a "golden window" in which to maximise the impact of their TV spots and related social-media buzz, a study has found.

"How Digital Conversations Reinforce Super Bowl Advertising: The Power of Earned Media Drives Television Engagement", published in the winter edition (Volume 54, Number 4) of the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR), investigated the relationship of social-media conversations and TV ads.

And authors Harlan E. Spotts (Western New England University), Scott C. Purvis (G&R Cooperative, LLC) and Sandeep Patnaik (University of Maryland University College) reported there was a "golden window" for social-media conversations to be an effective multiplier for television commercials.

They provided evidence that both media platforms work in tandem to enhance brand engagement, with pre-game and game-day social-media conversations enhancing audience engagement for advertised brands, while TV ads play a significant role in amplifying social-media conversations about the featured products.

Further, in analysis that appears as part of a special "How Earned Media Works in Advertising" section in JAR, Spotts, Putvis and Patnaik contended that the workings of social media during America's biggest media event is not a zero-sum game.

"Overall, the study found evidence that the relationship between traditional television advertising and online social-media conversations was reciprocal, with both media platforms working in tandem to enhance brand engagement," they wrote.

There is more good news for the smart marketer, too: "The current study's findings reinforce the thinking that brands are not at the mercy of social networks and uncontrolled online conversation.

"Developing strategies to stimulate positive conversation is possible and can extend a brand's advertising spend through enhanced engagement with both the advertising and the brand.

"Brands must ensure that they better synchronize their traditional and social-media campaigns, and this will require closer coordination than has been past practice."

Data sourced from Journal of Advertising Research; additional content by Warc