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Mitt tweet: ABC News producers analyzed real-time social media reactions to two GOP debates—including a spike in tweets when Mitt Romney challenged Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet.

During this Sunday’s Super Bowl, a record five million viewers are expected to tweet or make other social media comments—not just about the game, but also about the many beer, snack, and car ads that are integral to the annual sports and entertainment ritual.

This activity—up from 900,000 people making Super Bowl posts during last year’s game—is now happening at such a vast scale that executives in television, broadcast news, and advertising expect analytics of the comments to start shaping advertising choices—and even the direction of news coverage—in near real-time.

By the time next year’s Super Bowl rolls around, advertisers—poring over social media analytics of their ads—are likely to replace less-liked versions of ads with better-rated ones as the game goes on. “Advertisers will be looking for immediate feedback to change [advertising] copy rotations later in the game,” says Kate Sirkin, the global research director of Starcom MediaVest Group, an ad agency in New York.

Even social media feedback on things happening in the game could cause an adjustment. “You make a couple of versions of the ad, and different versions can run either depending on feedback by viewers to the ad, or real-time feedback to the game itself,” she says. “It speaks to the culture of the nation—it’s saying, ‘We’re listening to you, America, and giving you the stuff that you want.’ “

The teams themselves will drive some of this buzz from their own websites, according to a new analysis by the analytics company Nielsen.

On Sunday, Bluefin Labs, a social media analytics company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, expects to publicly unveil its ad-specific analytics technology after the Super Bowl. (To date, the company has only offered advertising analytics privately to clients, but it will make Super Bowl analytics public on game night.)

Discussion of television shows and ads on social media is surging. For example, the most recent premiere of The Bachelor garnered 80,528 comments, up from 13,966 the previous year; the numbers for Jersey Shore were 410,230 and 69,829. The most commented-upon TV event ever was the MTV Music Video Awards last year, at which Beyonce revealed her pregnancy—this triggered 3.1 million comments.

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Credit: Bluefin Labs

Tagged: Web, Twitter, A123 Systems, advertising, social media, politics, Bluefin Labs

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