Post-Game Strategies to Help Brands Win the Super Bowl
In just a few months, the majority of Americans will be sitting down for one of the biggest events of the year – the Super Bowl. The big game is more than just an iconic time for sports fans, beer, and chicken wings, it’s also one of the biggest and most talked about days of the year for advertising. From Oreo’s dunk in the dark to the Etrade baby to Ben Affleck staffing a Dunkin drive-thru or Alicia Silverstone reprising her famous Clueless role, Super Bowl campaigns are more than just ads. When done well they have the power to turn a brand into a cultural icon that is talked about well after the 30 second spot (and the game) ends. With all this fanfare, it’s no surprise that Super Bowl ads also come with a massive price tag. The average cost of a 30-second ad slot in 2023 was $7 million, and that’s not including the costs for creative teams, production companies, A-list talent, and more. In the current economic climate every dollar counts, so it’s more important than ever to ensure that if you’re investing in a Super Bowl ad, you’re also setting your brand up for a touchdown long after the game ends. Here are ways to maximize the ROI of a Super Bowl campaign.
Invest in OLV & CTV Post-Game
The Super Bowl is the perfect launch moment – the majority of Americans are tuned in and ready to watch, talk about, and share your campaign. But what happens after the game ends? For brand messages to be most effective, they need to reach consumers multiple times, ideally across multiple channels. This is where online video (OLV) and connected TV (CTV) come in. Consumers are watching more video content than ever, and they are open to engaging with brand messages to access the content they want to see. By implementing a cross-channel strategy post-game, you can guarantee a brand presence on the TV, phone, tablet, and computer screens of your target audience. This approach will reach consumers wherever they are, amplifying brand awareness, recall, and inciting action.
Leverage Contextual Tools to Insert Your Brand into Cultural Conversations
Today’s contextual tools are for more than targeting broad keywords related to your brand. There are new advanced offerings that leverage technologies like AI and machine learning to pull deeper insights from audio and video content, turning them into nuanced categories for more strategic targeting. In the days and weeks after the big game, there is no shortage of content about the teams, players, and ads – so make sure your ad is running on all of those articles by targeting Super Bowl-related keywords. If you’ve invested in a big name talent like Kim Kardashian for your spot, you can target content where Kim or anyone else in the Kardashian family is mentioned, seen or talked about. You can also use contextual for conquesting – ensuring that your brand message appears next to content about competitors to show how you beat out the competition.
Consider Social Cuts & Additional Channel-Specific Formats
No one enjoys watching a video on their TV that clearly was meant for a smaller mobile screen, or tuning in to a social video that was shot horizontally but has been zoomed in so far for a vertical screen that it’s difficult to get the full story. To make the most of a massive Super Bowl campaign, prioritize the viewer experience on all screens. Try creating versions of your ad in various aspect ratios and formats specific to each channel. After all, consumers are more likely to watch ads that they perceive to be high quality, and it’s easier to engage them right away if they can see the action up close and immediately recognize the brand.
Consider a Behind-The-Scenes Exclusive
According to Connatix research, many consumers visit brand websites directly for video content, making owned channels another key piece of the media mix and creating opportunities to engage your core audience with exclusive post-game content. Capture fun behind-the-scenes clips, create a blooper reel, or produce an interview with the talent in your ad alongside a brand spokesperson. Giving consumers access to unique, exclusive content on your website and social channels still directly related to the brand messages from your Super Bowl campaign is another great way to build brand affinity and engage your audience long after the game.
Participating in the biggest sports and advertising moment of the year might not be cheap, but with a clear strategy for audience engagement post-game it is possible to see massive returns.
[Editor's note: This is a contributed article from Connatix. Streaming Media accepts vendor bylines based solely on their value to our readers.]
Super Bowl ads, while a relatively small sample, are a decent indicator of trends in overall advertising demand. John Link from AdImpact reviews the last three years, and the trends are clear: a few categories like Crypto and Covid-related PSAs are waning, largely being replaced by new categories like Sports Betting and Streaming, and there is more competition in established categories like QSR and Beer.
As audiences continue to increase their streaming consumption, sports are ready to join the ranks of hit programs like Stranger Things, Only Murders in the Building, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. And with new streaming-exclusive deals involving the NFL and MLS in play, fans are ready, as more than one-third of U.S. homes now access TV programming strictly through an internet connection.
The cost and sheer number of ad spots during the Super Bowl can make it difficult for brands to stand out in the crowd. Here's a look at what's worked, from Oreo cookies to Betty White.