February 6, 2014

Beyond the Superbowl

Everyone talks about the TV spots created especially for the Superbowl and how much they cost. But what about digital? How did these big brands leverage social, mobile and web to capitalize on their big spending on the big day?

According to blogger David Hibbs “Hashtags won as the main CTA with over 60% of the ads using some kind of #hashtag to keep the viewers engaged beyond 30-seconds. This is a major change. Hashtags have now become the “universal” way people can use the second screen and still partake in the conversation. Even though hashtags are most commonly associated with Twitter, brands now have a way to easily connect with their viewers and customers on their social platform of preference…Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. URLs were almost non existent this year with only a handful of companies pointing customers to their homepage or social presence with a URL. While Shazam was big a few years ago, there were only a couple ads that still used this as an opportunity to extend experience”.

Some might say that Budweiser won the digital game with their Puppy spot which they released online days before the game to build the hype. With 43 million views and counting it’s safe to say they made a touchdown. But as Lincoln Bjorkman, Wunderman’s Global CCO said, “so this year’s killer digital strategy is the early release of a great ad on YouTube?”

But perhaps the real winner was Doritos with their $1 million Crash The Superbowl contest for the best Super Bowl commercial. That was the prize for fans of the brand who won the vote for coming up with the best commercial. Agencies were left on the sidelines while Doritos payed for airtime and offered $1 million to the ultimate winners. All entrants covered the casting, writing, and production of the videos themselves.

In the words of blogger Bill Faeth “this was a really smart game plan. In terms of money saved, Doritos won hands down. Still, they’ve done something even smarter than save money. The popular chip company will also earn themselves piles of social proof, and that’s something money can’t buy. When Doritos opened the competition to the general public, they received 5,500 entries. That’s 5,500 people who like the brand enough to put hard work into creating their own commercials. Of course, the $1 million dollar prize helped sweeten the deal, but that doesn’t inspire passion for the brand; it only inspires passion for the prize. Voters, also the general public (and probably Doritos lovers), can tell the difference between those who want to promote the company and those who just want to cash in. If you think this might not be the case, just take a look at some of the finalists”.

Crowdsourcing is something of an old idea but obviously it still works. If the result is content people want to share then everyone wins. Beyond Doritos there was not a lot of innovation around marketing the Superbowl. The one standout example of innovation would be H&M. As AdAge reported, “they aired a 30-second spot during the second quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII that let viewers with certain Samsung smart TVs use their remote controls to engage with the commercial and buy products from David Beckham’s Bodywear line.

The interactivity didn’t take viewers out of the regular broadcast stream. A small part of the screen presented a pop-up menu while the ad ran on the larger part of the screen. The pop-up menu offered product information, the ability to send that info to another device and the option to buy the product directly. The ad would still be interactive and shoppable for consumers who rewind to it using their DVRs”.

Obviously this technology was limited to a small number of people with the right TV but points the way forward when all TVs are connected.

Apparently the game itself was pretty dull and not all the ads were inspiring either. But there was still enough creative inspiration around this year’s Superbowl to get everyone talking.

Sources: www.responsys.com www.business2community.com adage.com