Rise of Brands in the Social TV Space May 23, 2012 by Sirpa Aggarwal Brands, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Second Screen, Social TV Some of our past blog posts have been talking about the Social TV space, and about the evolutionary path we saw being underway. The space is no longer nascent, yet far from mature, continuing to evolve. While the space was initially occupied almost exclusively by TV networks able to take advantage of disruptive new technologies and apps, with an ability to scale them, the more recent entrants into this space are brands eager to combine their marketing and social media expertise with Social TV and second-screen apps’ unparalleled market reach. Perhaps the best two examples of such brands are Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Both brands are among America’s most-loved and long-lived brands, with fiercely loyal fan bases spanning the globe. While the past “Cola Wars” were battled using traditional marketing tools and programs, the new battleground has shifted towards use of social media tools, with Social TV and second-screen apps as the new platforms in the battle for the market leadership. Pepsi has been a sponsor of ‘The X Factor USA,’ airing past musical videos during the commercial breaks of the show, true to its musical marketing roots. In addition, the company is a sponsor of ‘The X Factor USA’ branded second-screen app for the Social Web conversation about the show. Coca-Cola in the meantime has been partnering with ‘American Idol’ to promote its own brand. Coca-Cola also built a successful marketing campaign around the 2012 Super Bowl. The company aired its ‘Polar Bowl’ ads during the Game, while the polar bears also engaged with fans in real-time on Twitter and Facebook during the Game. Advertising Age reported that Coca-Cola was able to engage nine million viewers with its ‘Polar Bowl’ campaign. The type of innovative and creative genius demonstrated by both Coca-Cola and Pepsi are upping the ante for all brands thinking about entering the Social TV space. The mega brands are also valuable for the space itself by further validating it, while propelling the growth and evolution of the space, and paving the way for brands to enter it.