While February is synonymous with Valentine’s Day for most people, in America it’s also the time of the year when the most-watched sporting event, the Super Bowl, occurs. As the name suggests, the game is a big deal, boasting more than a third of the nation’s population tuning in.
Advertising agencies salivate over Super Bowl placements and businesses flourish with creative food deals and watch parties to boost sales. However in the digital world, harnessing the power of so much Super Bowl attention can be a little tricky. With so much focus put on the television, how can businesses create a winning digital strategy around the big game? Here at Outsmart Labs we’ve put together a list of the best digital strategies and examples of winning strategies that show the potential of tapping into the game.
Before the Super Bowl Snap
The biggest mistake big brands make is often assuming the most consumed content is occurring during the game. While during the games there are great commercials and ad placements are going viral, there are also instances where great content is getting shared as early as days before the game. In 2014, Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” ad had almost 7 million views in less than 12 hours after launching, which was broken down to almost 186,000 views per hour. This is a great success for launching days before the event started.
Even as we write this, certain brands have already started releasing content as the game comes around. Website builder Wix has developed a short series staring Fast & Furious stars Jason Statham and Gal Gadot as spies taking on some evil guys in a restaurant. Since its release this past Tuesday, the commercial already has over 2 million views on YouTube. Wix’s whole campaign was curated by director Louis Leterrier and will include eight to 10 short films, as well as the 30-second spot that will actually air during the big game.
Progress the Conversation Beyond the Super Bowl
Tim Culkins, professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, once told the New Yorker that “It is not about winning the Super Bowl but winning an entire month.” Digital marketers have to take advantage of the ongoing conversations after the game. Social media has the advantage of not letting content go to die into our memories. After the game ends, videos are still getting shared on YouTube, people are still tweeting, and memes can go on for weeks.
A metric from Strike Social indicates that conversations can take place almost 25 days after the game ends. It’s not just about surprising your audience with a creative ad, it’s about getting the most views. Views take time, steadily rising for weeks and this just gets better around Super Bowl. When Chrysler was nam ed Marketer of the Year by Advertising Age, their Super Bowl campaign resulted in a 3% increase in sales in February and a 26% increase in sales in March, which was a full two months after the Super Bowl aired. The Super Bowl is not as small of a window as it used to be and the resulting metrics after are even wider.
Take Advantage of the Live Action
The one thing television will always have over on-demand, social media, and the Internet is the fact that it continues to give everyone a chance to feel like they are all enjoying something together at the same time. No one knows the outcome, there are no spoilers or teasers, and everything is literally happening by the second. People love that communal bond of knowing almost everyone around the world is enjoying the same moment. It eases that fear of missing out and brings everyone together.
Create digital experiences or content that is literally related to being in the moment. How can you effectively capture the experience of half-time during the game? Even something as mundane as a bathroom break can be huge. These are often peak times to consume content during the game, hence the commercial break. The NFL has a huge partnership with Twitter, yet many brands still haven’t thought of clever ways to embed their brand into the tweetstorm of games. 16.9 million tweets were sent during last year’s game alone.
Experiential marketing combined with the instant capabilities of social media can be a winning combination for any brand looking to boost conversions. Taking all of the aforementioned into account should put your brand well on its way to creating a winning Super Bowl campaign.
Even without the big budget of some of the major corporations, the truth is there is still plenty of room for marketers looking to take advantage of all the Super Bowl buzz. It just takes a clear call to action, creative strategy, and an ad message everyone can enjoy.