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Super Bowl Advertising | #SuperBowlCommercials | #SuperBowlLI

natalie | Friday February 3, 2017

Last year, 52 companies purchased air time in the 2016 Super Bowl – the 50th edition of the biggest day in American sports – and TV commercials. Each of these brands paid CBS a minimum of 5 million bucks per 30 seconds of precious air time. Eager to promote their goods before an audience of more than 100 million captivated viewers, most advertisers will tell you that each of those dollars was well spent.

The Super Bowl is one of the single most expensive nights for advertisers, with prices steadily climbing every year. In fact, the average rate for a 30-second spot has increased 75% over the past decade with brands investing over $4.2M for a 30-second ad. According to Kantar Media, six advertisers in the Super Bowl spent more than 10% of their annual media budget on the game – that’s a big bet on one night.

With so much money spent and made on the Super Bowl, what are brands doing to extend their reach beyond the 30-second TV slot? More importantly, for those that don’t have Super Bowl budgets (pretty much everyone else), how are they creatively capitalizing on the 111.5 million viewers who tune into the Super Bowl each year?

The best marketers are experimenting with creative content and social strategies to extend their audience reach and engagement way beyond the screen. To truly see ROI from their advertising investments, marketers MUST find out-of-the-box ways to escape the sharp peaks and valleys of traditional campaign engagement.

Instead, the most forward-thinking marketers are focusing on consistent engagement and long-term brand loyalty with their consumers. An always-on content strategy tied to traditional TV ad campaigns, enables marketers to maximize the reach, longevity, and impact of their media dollars.

Digital engagement around the Super Bowl has exploded over the past few years. According to TechCrunch, Super Bowl fans shared 265 million posts on Facebook in 2015, 28.4 million tweets, and watched nearly 4 million hours of game-day ads on YouTube (up from 2.2 million hours in 2014).

But it’s not all about Super Bowl Sunday. According to YouTube, viewership of football content spikes during the NFL draft in the spring as well as the start of the fall season (see chart from YouTube below).

The brands that are getting Super Bowl marketing right are engaging their fans over the course of the entire season. This is true for extending the reach of campaign-based advertising too. According to Google, brands that published full versions of their TV ads online before Sunday’s game received 2.2X views and 3.1X more social shares by Monday morning than those brands that waited until the game to release an ad.

To gear up for Super Bowl LI, let’s take a look at some of last year’s best ads!

Wix

Sophomore advertiser, website builder Wix.com chose to partner last year with DreamWorks Animation. The amazing animators behind classics like Shrek and Madagascar created a fun Super Bowl ad that made for some serious eye candy.

Under the hashtag #StartStunning, the 30-second commercial both promoted the release of Kung Fu Panda 3 and used our favorite characters from the Kung Fu movies to show how important and easy it is for any business to create a beautiful website using Wix. Plus, the web design company even created an interactive, online hub for all their fans.

Watch the complete Wix 2016 Super Bowl ad here:


Wix also released four teasers, each of which featured one of our favorite Kung Fu fighters going to extreme measures to get the word out about Mr. Ping’s Noodles, only to be reminded by the wise Master Shifu that every business should start first by building a stunning Wix website. Watch all the Wix Super Bowl teasers.

Always

It’s easy to get caught up with the new, especially when it involves massive budgets. Brands want to wow their fans and showcase “the next big thing.” But sometimes the smartest brands just stick to the things that work.

Always #LikeAGirl


The 2015 Always #likeagirl Super Bowl spot did just that. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, Always doubled down on their viral video. Football may not be a conventional place for an Always commercial, but the emotional message resonated with moms and dads. According to Adobe, Always won the “second screen” at the Super Bowl bringing in over 400,000 total mentions, big game buzz growth over an average day, sentiment, spend efficiency and international reach.

Doritos

For the past 10 years, Doritos has crowd sourced their Super Bowl ad concepts in an ongoing contest called “Crash the Super Bowl.” The contest has become the most successful marketing initiative in the brand’s history.

Why? Doritos thinks of their consumers as not just passive recipients of messaging, but as creators, producers, and distributors too. By putting their consumer at the heart of their broader marketing strategy, Doritos is able to harness the attention and creative power of three different communities: the makers (who enter the contest), the lovers (who create buzz and follow the contest), and the watchers (who watch the ads and vote in the contest). Last year, out of the 4,900 people who submitted creative spots, “Middle Seat” – a 30-second ad that features a man determined to keep the middle seat next to him empty – took home a $1M grand prize.

Middle Seat – Doritos Crash the Super Bowl 2015 WINNER OFFICIAL by Scott Zabielski


To measure the effectiveness of the contest, Doritos looks at pass-along value, online contest currency, media value, and brand equity throughout the contest. According to a Fast Company interview with Frito-Lay CMO, Ann Mukherjee, all these measures have consistently gone up, along with sales. As Mukherjee notes, “For me, rule number one is trust the consumer,” she says. “This principle has changed me as a marketer. When you give the freedom to the audience, when they love something, they will take care of it better than someone you actually pay. This is their brand. They’re not going to tarnish it. There hasn’t been a single year I’ve been disappointed.”

Key Takeaways:

  • By understanding the related interests of your audience, your content strategy will connect, engage and remain relevant far beyond a single event.
  • Find the whitespace when building your content and channel strategy. This will ensure you truly stand out from the crowd.
  • Think of your pillar events and sponsorships as a long-term strategy. Engage your fans before, during and after the main event.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. If it works, go big!

Trust your consumer. Harness their creativity to get to the essence of your brand.

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