I have a friend whose family is really into games, just not of the organized-sporting-event variety. Every year they get together and have a massive Super Bowl party, replete with football-shaped finger food and hot wings dipped in ranch. Yet they mute the game to play board games and unmute it…for the commercials. The entire game, instant replays, interviews and sometimes even the halftime show go unwatched, but they want to be among the first to catch those ads which cost a reported $5 million+ per 30 seconds.
As strange as my friend and her family may sound (and may be), when it comes to the Super Bowl, they are not alone: 17.7% of adults say the commercials are the most important part of the mega event.
So what is it that the Super Bowl does so right, to make people actually desire to be advertised to, and, more importantly, how can it improve your own marketing campaigns?
Let’s take a look.
They Know Their Marketing Audience
What’s more American than football? Probably not much, since the rest of the world calls a completely different sport by that name (aka soccer).
Capitalizing on audience affection for all things American, Chrysler launched the highly successful, “Imported from Detroit” ad campaign, featuring native and rapper Eminem. Just like fans who root for the underdog, the commercial hits all the right emotional notes, connecting the dots between luxury, fandom, and the American way…in a car.
Of course, people remember funny Super Bowl ads as well, but the ones that pack an emotional punch often end up with millions of additional YouTube views and major social media shares.
They Know How to Engage Them
Doritos struck advertising gold when they turned to users to create commercials, with a big payoff: the winner would get aired during the big game. Now, Frito-Lay gets thousands of entries each year; in addition to the marketing strategy benefits of this golden campaign it has now become an annual tradition for all viewers.
Take a bite from the Doritos page and connect with your consumers or clients across platforms, in ways which they find meaningful and interesting. A fun quiz in an email, an opportunity to participate in a decision through a social media survey, or other interactive marketing campaign invites participation (and repeat business).
They Focus on the Big Game
The Super Bowl brings more than a few tumbles and fumbles, but one that brought unexpected delight was Betty White getting tackled during Super Bowl XLIV–in a Snickers advertisement. She throws out a well-timed, “That’s not what your girlfriend said,” reminding audiences of what they love about her: humor free from all self-consciousness.
The ad featured the Snickers’ tagline, “You’re not you when you’re hungry” in a literal and amusing way, but also illuminated one of the other benefits of marketing campaigns: consistent messaging. Despite being a candy bar with 20g of sugar, Snickers has managed to position itself as a solution for hunger through consistent messaging. It might sound like a tough sell for a candy company, but with years of similar approaches (remember “Snickers satisfies you”?), the little brown-wrapped bar generates more than $3 billion in revenue each year.
A similar focus on a long-term, big game marketing strategy, instead of a quick play, is an important reminder for companies of all sizes.
Play the Game
Are you ready to take your marketing campaigns to the next level? Let WCD help you develop a plan that will tackle your current objectives, while positioning you for future plays.
The Super Bowl does it right, and so can you (with a much smaller price tag!).