The Super Bowl remains one of the most-watched TV programs in the entire country, year after year. While not every business has access to the kind of budget to put a TV ad on at halftime for the Super Bowl, there are several other options that businesses can look at.
Marketing opportunities are evident for the right companies. By leveraging this event the right way, a company can connect with its customers on a fundamental level, even if it’s not during the halftime show.
Ten members of Forbes Agency Council explore how a company can still use the Super Bowl to market its products if it cannot invest in a TV ad spot on the day itself.
1. Be Present And Active During The Game
Brands that can’t produce a 30-second spot should at least have their social media team active during the big game. They should be looking for ways to relate their brand/product to events happening live. Consumers don’t put their phone down during the game. They are actively scrolling through social media. The brand that can make memorable and meaningful live commentary will find some traction. – Kenny Eicher, The CSI Group
2. Organize Social Media Interceptions
Volvo ran an interception campaign in 2015 announcing that people could win a Volvo for a loved one by tweeting the name and #VolvoContest during any car commercial. The campaign was a massive success. When any of the competitors’ commercial aired during that Super Bowl, the social conversation shifted to Volvo, leading to a 70% sales increase for the XC60 the month following the Super Bowl. – Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing
3. Focus On A Trend
Focusing on a relevant issue will yield more thoughtful results, as well as increase organic engagement. For example, if you make beverages in glass containers for greater sustainability, find out how many single-serve drinks will be consumed on the day of the Super Bowl and draw attention to what kind of impact choosing glass over alternatives will make on the environment. – Christine Wetzler, Pietryla PR
4. Be A Little Pushy
Be a little pushy, but don’t get a penalty for unnecessary roughness by being too pushy. Send a push notification or two during critical game moments, promoting “countdown clock” deals. For example, “Can you believe the Patriots scored with only three seconds left in the bottom of the first quarter? Use code 3SECONDS to get a FREE large bucket of wings with the purchase of a medium pizza.” – Bernard May, National Positions
5. Retarget Via YouTube
Get that bang for your buck in 2020 with pennies on the dollar by retargeting via YouTube. First dial up your YouTube content. Then define your audience and geolocation parameters. Third, create dynamic ads that cover all of the required retargeting ad sizes. Now that you are unstoppable, ask yourself how you can leverage this across other programs! – Michaela Dempsey, Scout RFP
6. Deliver Game-Relevant Promotions Via Social
Super Bowl spots are exorbitant. Social media without a paid spend is free. If you have a compelling tie-in, then spend some money to boost that campaign. If Buffalo Bills are in the Super Bowl, every company selling Buffalo wings should be all over it. Have a reasonable budget, and use a consumer engagement tool like 1Q to get fans to submit photos of their Super Bowl party to win a flat screen, for instance. – Dean Trevelino, Trevelino/Keller
7. Create A Commercial For Digital
Video requires investment but if you are going to publish on digital and social, then you can budget less than you would for broadcast. The reach on digital and social platforms can be successful even if they are not on broadcast. The total campaign cost, including media, is a fraction of broadcast, and the results can be just as impactful. – Gina Michnowicz, The Craftsman Agency
8. Spoof The Ads
These ads get massive global coverage — pick one you can spoof quickly and capture some of the attention through your own marketing channels. Hit the same hashtags and go out to your own audiences and marketing channels the few days after when everyone is talking about the ads. If done well you can pick up huge spikes and engagement for a fraction of the cost. – Michael Simonetti, Andmine.com
9. Look Beyond Game Day
You don’t need to run your ad on a network during the Super Bowl in order to benefit from it. Each year, more and more conversations are being had leading up to the Super Bowl and following it. So doing content pushes, social campaigns and display ads that take advantage of all the peripheral Super Bowl hype is a great way to connect with the audience over a longer period of time and for cheaper. – Nathan Hall, Simple Story
10. Engage Fans Throughout The Season
Companies should initiate game day campaigns in the fall and leverage multiple pathways to create a steady and compelling level of engagement with consumers. The smart Super Bowl marketing strategy is one that takes a multi-channel approach and stretches out over weeks. Campaigns should involve strong creative, clever content, contests and even celebrity engagement — but not break the bank. – Kathleen Lucente, Red Fan Communications