Super Bowl Ads and How They’re Tied to Online Digital Marketing
It’s not just the halftimes or the game per se that makes Super Bowl a really huge American event. Yes, count the iconic Super Bowl ads in.
And yes, it’s the Super Bowl once again. America’s eyes will surely remain firmly glued to the games – and to the TV ads that come with it. Why are companies and advertisers so excited about the Super Bowl games, and how do they turn this massive event to their companies’ digital marketing advantages?
The Origins of Super Bowl Commercials
In the 1970s, Super Bowl games started airing commercials alongside the game itself. One notable ad was Xerox’s campaign dubbed “Monks”, wherein a monk named Brother Dominic used a Xerox photocopy machine to reproduce manuscript copies. Brother Dominic was played by Jack Eagle. The ad was well received and had gone viral way back 1977.
Other companies who pioneered in the Super Bowl ads were Coca Cola, Master Lock, Chrysler, Macintosh, and Budweiser. Most of these brands regularly air Super Bowl ads until today.
Why Do Companies Want Ad Spots on the Super Bowl Games?
What makes Super Bowl a perfect avenue for advertising efforts?
Advertisers have a really simple rationale for churning out hundreds of bucks in exchange for a few seconds on-air during the Super Bowl games. More crowds seeing their brands, more exposure and income for them.
The Super Bowl has a massive audience viewership from across the entire America. With that said, a large number of people – millions of people, actually, – get to watch the ads that companies release during the event. That’s a large opportunity for brands to showcase their best products and get a large number of new potential customers.
What companies get from showing ads during the Super Bowl are:
- Added brand exposure
- Brand awareness
- Lots of potential customers
- Projected and actual income increase
That’s why no matter how costly a spot in the Super Bowl ad roster is, companies are willing to shell out huge bucks. They’re hoping for a return of investment here. They spend millions of dollars for a thirty-second ad, but that’s thirty seconds of valuable exposure to the entire America. What more if the ad goes viral, something that creates a buzz even after the games are over. People will get interested in the product or company, visit their physical or online stores, and bring in income to the said company. Bucks shelled out for the ad gets replaced, and income soars.
Potential for Budding Personalities
Viewers giddily await the performance of whosoever artist will perform on the Super Bowl half time – think Beyonce, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga’s iconic stints. But apart from the half time, Super Bowl ads are also much anticipated. And these ads also have the power to make a person well-known after a few seconds of on-air screen time.
Take Jesse Heiman for instance. He appears on various TV shows and movies as an extra. However, his GoDaddy Super Bowl ad with Bar Refaeli propelled him to higher status. The campaign dubbed “Where Smart Meets Sexy” made a lot of buzz after it was aired. Soon, Heiman found himself being chased around by documentary crews. And he’s even appeared in a short film after that ad stint.
Big names in the entertainment industry also grace the Super Bowl ads. Some of the stars include Justin Timberlake for Bai, Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart for T-Mobile, Tom Brady for Intel, John Cena voicing over for Wonderful Pistachios, and Jason Statham for Wix. Getting acclaimed artists for the ads pushes companies’ digital marketing efforts to an even higher level.
Ads as a Part of Online Marketing Strategic Ecosystem
As technology continues to evolve, advertisers are not limited to on-screen airplays for getting their marketing efforts across its target viewers. The TV ads shown in the Super Bowl games form a part of a so-called online marketing strategic ecosystem.
A company creates a TV ad, submits it to the network that airs the Super Bowl games, and gets it approved. They then pay for the ad time. Now, the TV ad’s finally up and will be shown during the game intervals. But apart from the TV exposure, advertisers utilize other social media channels to enhance their digital marketing strategies.
The Super Bowl becomes trending on social media during its airplay, and the ads also become a talk-of-the-town on social media streams. Companies capitalize on this fact and create strategies to interact directly with customers via social media portals. They create and upload various Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook posts about the game and ads. These posts catch people’s attention and engages them to start connecting with the companies.
The TV ads now become a hot topic on the Internet, and that helps in making the brands solidly visible to the entire populace. Brands create buzz during their ads so that people would talk about them all the time, making them popular as the days go by. This is an effective digital marketing strategy that puts the brand in the spotlight and increases income probability for a company.
How to Engage Super Bowl Viewers on Social Media
Several social media sites are used by companies to create digital marketing possibilities. Couple these strategies with the Super Bowl games, and it’s bound to create success.
A teaser of the new Super Bowl ad is often uploaded to keep viewers excited about the brand. After the game, most companies upload the full ad version. From there, people who weren’t able to watch the ad live have a chance to view and comment on the commercial.
Companies resort to Twitter to announce important updates on the ad. Viewers often tweet about the commercials during and after the games. Other companies even have Twitter quarrels that pique people’s interest – T-Mobile’s latest ad actually made Verizon tweet a couple of times. This strategy made the two mobile brands more visible to the public.
The brand’s Facebook page is updated to reflect the Super Bowl games and its ad connection with them. Updates, teasers, videos and photos can be posted. Facebook users are free to share these posts to others, making the brand’s visibility spread all the more.
Photos and short videos about the upcoming games and commercials release are often posted by the company. Users who follow and share the brand’s posts and profile page help propagate the brand and make it visible on the web.
Subtle Strategies for Social Media Exposure Without the Ads
Commercials are undoubtedly the best way to drive social media traffic towards the brand being promoted. But what if a brand chooses not to create and air an ad during the Super Bowl? Can they still take advantage of the massive viewership and social media traffic that the event generates?
Of course they can.
Some brands intensively use social media to increase exposure during the Super Bowl even without an ad in tow. One example of this is Volvo’s campaign, “The Greatest Interception Ever”. Social media users are asked to tweet #VolvoContest while competitor brands’ ads are airing. They get some visibility for a fraction of the cost by doing so.
Brands who don’t have Super Bowl ads may use the various social media platforms to create buzz-worthy promos that make them popular despite their lack of commercials. Other brands even comment on their competitor’s ads and gain some visibility because of that.
And The Trend Goes On and On
Super Bowl ads and its social media strategies see no signs of slowing down. The commercials are increasingly becoming costly, but highly-established brands and adventurous start-ups set their stakes high and go for the ads.
Companies pay millions of dollars to create viral commercials and buy airtime slots on the event. They post YouTube teasers of their ads to create a buildup of excitement. They connect to their customers through tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram snapshots and Snapchat posts. Websites are geared up for upcoming traffic due to the Super Bowl ads. And when the ad is finally shown, these brands effectively deliver their message to that vast array of customers watching the Super Bowl games.
The social media marketing continues for brands who chose not to use ads. Posting materials across the Internet, creating a good buzz, and making people notice them while the Super Bowl is ongoing entails a lot of effort and confidence. But brands can pull it off (look at the Volvo example explained earlier) and manage to increase their sales through the Super Bowl even without an expensive commercial.
The increased availability of devices that support social media platforms make online digital marketing largely possible with no hints of dying down. People use social media in computers, laptops, tablets, phablets, smartphones, and smart TVs. A company’s advertising team have tons of possibilities to drive their brand through these platforms. And doing the marketing work in time with the Super Bowl will surely put the social media advertising campaigns to a huge success.