Every year the Super Bowl draws in audiences from all over the world. Last year, it was one of the most watched television events of 2017, drawing in over 111.3 million people in the US alone. As the most hyped sporting event of the year, it makes sense that it’s the holy grail for marketers.
The big players move in
In the run-up to the main event in February, the big players of the marketing world always start to tease us with what they plan to unveil during the show. This year, we’ve already seen that Lexus has partnered with Marvel’s Black Panther, which is already expected to be one of the highest grossing films of the year. Pepsi has also announced that it plans to turn two of its Super Bowl ads into virtual reality experiences.
The cost of advertising campaigns like these is extortionate, and big brands like these will be paying up to $5 million for a 30-second TV commercial spot. Smaller brands clearly don’t have this kind of budget to spend on a half-minute advert slot, but the use of digital can yield just as effective results in the lead up and during the game itself.
It’s all about digital
The use of digital media allows brands to engage with their audience in real-time and react to what’s going on during the game. Using digital platforms like Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook to engage with your audience is an extremely cost-effective way for small brands to compete with the likes of the big boys.
What can you do to stand out?
A huge number of brands will be using digital channels on Sunday, which means that it’ll be extremely crowded, especially on social media. So, what can brands do to stand out?
It’s all about being disruptive, creative and challenging. I suspect because of the politically charged environment we’re in at the moment, a lot of brands will look to capitalise on this to get a conversation going on social media. Last year we saw huge brands like Budweiser tackling immigration and Audi exploring female empowerment.
Given the current climate, we will no doubt be seeing more of this at this year’s event. But if brands are going to go down this route, they need to ensure the message they are sharing aligns with their own brand values. The same can be said for any disruptive trend. It’s all well and good starting a conversation that will get people engaging with your brand, but only if the message you’re spreading doesn’t contradict what your brand stands for.
Be disruptive, but be authentic
Marketing is about being disruptive, but also authentic. Because so many marketers will be adopting the same strategy on Sunday, there’s definitely a temptation to try to stand out by causing a real stir just for the sake of it.
There’s no doubt the Super Bowl is an event where marketers can really have an influence on their core audience. It provides a chance for small businesses to engage with people in real-time, building a strong consumer-brand relationship. But don’t get sucked in by the hype, and don’t just be disruptive for the sake of it. Think about whether what you’re doing really ties into your core message, and if it does, the strategy will reap huge rewards.