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Online conversation has the "big game" trending and some people like to watch the NFL’s biggest event of the year just for the commercials. And while Super Bowl viewership varies from year to year—more than 111 million and 103 million watched in 2017 and 2018 respectively—this football extravaganza arguably is still the best way for advertisers to promote their products and services to as many people as possible at the same time.

On January 31st for Thursday Thoughts, University of Maryland University College Chief Academic Officer Alan Drimmer and his guest Sandeep Patnaik, UMUC professor and program chair for the Master of Science in marketing, will discuss live on Facebook how online conversation influences advertisers and drives brand engagement, among other marketing trends.

Patnaik, an active researcher in the area of marketing communications, investigated the interactive relationship of social-media conversation and brand television advertising during the 2011 and 2012 Super Bowl championship games in conjunction with fellow researchers Harlan E. Spotts of Western New England University and Scott C. Purvis of G&R Cooperative, LLC.

The results of their study, published in the 2014 report “How Digital Conversations Reinforce Super Bowl Advertising: The Power of Earned Media,” indicated that social-media chatter in the run-up to game day about brands being advertised during the Super Bowl boosted audience engagement with those brands.

“Overall,” the report noted, “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.”

Does that relationship hold true today given declining network television ratings? Learn more on Thursday Thoughts with Dr. Alan Drimmer, as he and special guest Dr.  Sandeep Patnaik discuss current trends in marketing, 1 p.m. ET, live at

More about Sandeep Patnaik.

Before joining UMUC, Patnaik was research director at Gallup and Robinson, a leading market research firm affiliated to the Gallup organization. In that role, he was involved in promoting Facial Electromyography techniques ( to measure emotional reactions to TV advertisements.

Earlier, Patnaik led research on advertising strategy at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania resulting in publication of the advertising handbook “Persuasive Advertising.”

In his research, he has explored the synergistic relationship between traditional media, such as TV and magazines, and social media, as well as developing strategies on how both could successfully be integrated into marketing campaigns. His current research is focused on marketing strategy—especially on how organizational culture moderates marketing objectives.

Patnaik, who prior to his current role was the program director of UMUC’s MBA Marketing Program, has taught a wide variety of the university’s graduate-level courses in marketing and management. In 2012, he was a recipient of the coveted UMUC Teaching Excellence Award.