The fourth annual Texas Advertising & Public Relations Bowl brought students from different communication departments together to watch the Super Bowl and its highly anticipated advertisements.
Attendees gathered around three TVs, two showing the game, and the third displaying data from #TAPRBowl on Twitter in real time, in the Center for Sports Communication and Media. Using a software called Nuve, tweets appear as color coded bubbles on a time line. With its large audience, the Super Bowl provides advertisers with an appealing way to reach potential customers.
“We’re trying to highlight how the Super Bowl is basically the most important advertising event, period,” radio-television-film senior Kristie Chau said. “Companies spend almost the entire year based off this one event to create commercials.”
Although Chau studies radio-television-film, she was drawn to the event by her interest in how advertising combines aspects of radio, television and film with business.
“RTF is a very creative content-type major,” Chau said. “I find that advertising is a way to mix that with business. It is using creative content in combination with analytics and understanding your target to create content that really matters to other people.”
Among the organizers of the Texas Advertising & Public Relations Bowl was Gary Wilcox, a graduate adviser for the graduate programs in advertising. Wilcox has taught an advertising class on social media for 10 years and used the same software to monitor Super Bowl tweets that he uses in his class.
“This is a monitoring system that we use in class to monitor what people are saying,” Wilcox said. “(The group) promoted the event for about 10 days, so now we’re seeing if the promotions worked and if people are engaging.”
In the past, the Bowl took place in a professor’s house or in bars. This is the first year the Bowl has been held on campus.
“(The group) thought this would be a great opportunity to use the space here and host a party,” said Michael Butterworth, director of Sports Communication and Media. “It’s a sense of community as well, and that’s one of the things that we want. Students who have a shared interest in sports communication and media can use it as a hub for that.”
Beyond the academic benefits of the event, it also provided a professional environment for people to gather for one of the largest sports events of the year.
“I think the event was good,” advertising graduate student Kyle Vanderheyden said. “We had people discussing the advertisements like professionals.”