Research shows that there are actually very few commercials that cause consumers to make a purchase. Instead, commercials build brand awareness. Yet, TV advertising is still “big business”, and one of the biggest, and priciest, spots to nab is during the Super Bowl. This February, brands will have to pay as much as $5 million to run an ad during the game.
Programmatic advertising and multi-channel usership have changed the marketing landscape, but how does that affect one of the biggest traditional advertising days of the year, the Super Bowl?
Taking Advantage of the Big Game – Without Paying Big Bucks
As mentioned, TV ads are almost always brand awareness plays. According to the American Marketing Association, on average less than one in five Super Bowl commercials for established brands were able to impact future purchase intentions on the basis of only game-day exposure. Yet, brands pay millions to secure and produce Super Bowl TV ads.
Google Trends indicates that searches for “Super Bowl” on YouTube have quintupled since 2011. With more people watching online, the audiences for real time Super Bowl advertisements can still be reached even if a company can’t afford to run an ad on TV during the game.
Use Social Media
A savvy marketer can join trending hashtag conversations on social media and engage in conversations with consumers. Half of the 66 commercials shown during Super Bowl 49 featured a hashtag. Using established hashtags allows marketers to take advantage of current conversations and appear in the hashtag searches. Real time Super Bowl campaigns should be run on both Twitter and Facebook specifically because there is so much engagement on both those platforms during game day.
Conversations Pre- and Post-Game
We already mentioned the power of YouTube, but it is a particularly important platform for reaching consumers before game day. According to Google Data, in January through December 2014, people watched more than 6 million hours’ worth of Super Bowl XLVIII teasers and ads released on YouTube.
If people are re-watching the Super Bowl all year, you can bet they’re also talking about it. Super Bowl conversations don’t end on game day. Companies can continue the conversation post game day to continue engagement.
The Super Bowl presents a huge opportunity for running mobile campaigns as many people are watching the game on TV while on their mobile devices. Use of simultaneous devices has continued to grow, especially among Millennials. Run ads on mobile devices during the game to capture audiences that are checking their phones.
Snapchat: The Emerging Option
Snapchat users watch nearly 6 billion videos every day – which isn’t that far behind Facebook’s 8 billion. Snapchat has made vertical video the norm online, while offering other benefits, including Snapchat-focused newsrooms for publishers and diversified ad offerings.
Creative Engagement for Super Bowl Success
Just as with successful Super Bowl TV spots, creative messaging will be a big factor in the success of any Super Bowl-adjacent campaign. Every brand will be looking to run a winning Super Bowl campaign, and compelling engagement with your target audience will be key to standing out from the pack.
In one example of an excellent Super Bowl campaign, Monster.com ran a social media campaign that congratulated Seattle – when the Patriots actually won the game. The tweet was a spoof, but it grabbed people’s attention. Monster then followed that up with a campaign that was driving users to their job search service to hire a new social media manager. The ad had over 6,500 tweets, with a potential reach of 17 million viewers. It was a brilliant way to tap into people’s passion regarding the event.
Social Media provides a huge opportunity for brands to start conversations on game day (especially Facebook and Twitter). According to a CNBC article, during last year’s Super Bowl, Facebook saw 265 million posts during the game, and Twitter saw over 28 million global tweets (which ended up making it the most tweeted Super Bowl ever).
Many familiar brands will still be advertising during the Super Bowl, like Coca-Cola, Doritos, Honda and LG to name a few. Although many consumers’ eyes will be glued to the Super Bowl screen on game day watching these and many other ads, there are alternative ways to get their attention and keep them engaged in order to drive brand awareness and start them in the engagement funnel.
image by charamelody on flickr