Written by Allison Herrera & Caroline Legrand
The most grandeur marketing campaigns of the year also happen to be a part of America’s largest sporting event. People anticipate all year, or at least from pre-season on, whether or not their team will be in the Super Bowl. As Americans, we know where next year’s Super Bowl will be held before we know who even won this year’s game. But, as much as America loves football (Who Dat!), not everyone watches the Super Bowl as a sports spectator – we watch for the commercials. In my honest opinion, unless the players are sporting black and gold uniforms with a Lombardi trophy in hand, the commercials are arguably the best part about the Super Bowl.
Starting with the 2020 Super Bowl, though, brands were starting to change the game. With the 30-second spot for a commercial costing up to $5.6 MILLION, brands are searching for other ways to utilize the Super Bowl hype. In 2019, instead of purchasing a commercial spot, Skittles produced a musical in New York on the day of the Super Bowl. Actors such as Michael C. Hall performed a song titled “Advertising Ruins Everything” in remembrance of old advertising musicals for companies like G.E. and J.C. Penney. The show sold out in less than a week.
Stella Artois opted out of a Super Bowl media spot, too. Instead of creating a commercial, Stella Artois hosted a weekend-long party in Miami set with musical performances, celebrity appearances, pop-up restaurants and ferry-yachts that let visitors skip out on the traffic from the causeway. The yachts were adorned with the Stella Artois logo, of course, for all riders and those stuck on the causeway to see. Other companies that opted out of commercials include Burger King, Sketchers and Wix.
Overall, less people are watching the Super Bowl than in recent years, and advertisers want their audience more engaged (hence, the Miami parties and New York musicals). From 2017 to 2019, the number of viewers fell from 111.3 million to 98.2 million. But, one thing everyone is watching during the Super Bowl besides the television, is social media.
Using social media to advertise during the Super Bowl is a great way to catch the attention of consumers glued to a 2nd and 3rd screen, while also boosting customer engagement – which is what all brands want right now. Whether you’re tweeting about a bogus call or posting an Instagram Story about the Super Bowl snack spread, people are on social media platforms. Not only are people living on social media platforms, but they are engaging with other users, brands, etc. by liking posts, replying to stories, answering polls, sharing posts, watching videos, commenting beneath posts…
Not only does social media campaigns help boost engagement (which sparks conversation) – they are also affordable, especially for smaller budget companies who would otherwise never advertise during Super Bowl weekend. Social media campaigns don’t cost anywhere near the price of a Super Bowl commercial spot, yet they have all eyes on it at the same time as that $5.6 million dollar spot is airing. For a fraction of the price of a Super Bowl commercial spot, you can run an effective social media campaign.
While it’s clear why brands invest big bucks into Super Bowl airtime, brands such as General Mills, GNC, Gatorade, T-Mobile and Petsmart (just to name a few) choose to spend efforts with an engaged audience on social media. Contact us at Uptown Girl Media today, and we can show you how this can be done for your company during football season, or we can prepare ahead of time for Super Bowl advertising. And for those of you who love the commercials though, fear not. TiVo, who usually allows people to skip ads, plans to revive an option to skip the football and only see the commercials.