Last week, we were writing about how the State of the Union was feeling more and more like the hype surrounding a Super Bowl ad. Well, looking at the hype surrounding this year’s Super Bowl ads, the State of the Union wishes!
For almost a decade now, advertisers have actively “previewed” their Super Bowl ads, releasing them pregame to avoid the risk of their huge ad spend investment premiering while you’re busy making nachos. As a result, the game itself, which used to be as much about the ads as the football, now feels anticlimactic on almost every level (especially if the score is 36-8 going into the fourth quarter).
There are other good reasons for this: AdAge reports that previewed ads enjoyed far higher digital engagement than did the ads that were showing for the first time during the game. Now, this is a somewhat misleading stat, since you’re comparing weeks of cumulative views, posts and tweets to those from a single afternoon. But the trend is clear and not going anywhere soon.
Nowhere has the jump in expanding Super Bowl ad messaging reach been greater than on the mobile platform, where the ability to not simply deliver pre-game messages but extend that message on a second screen during the game sets it apart.
Here are three things to look for over the coming week:
Exclusive app-based content and engagement.
Budweiser is expanding on their “Up For Whatever” campaign, launched during last year’s game, by combining it with a beer delivery service available in-app. You can order 1-100 cases of Bud or Bud Light and have them delivered (via a third-party alcohol delivery service) within the hour. The carrot is that some of these deliveries will include an “Up For Whatever” experience of your own.
In-game social engagement delivered on the less-obtrusive mobile screens.
Look around the room at your Super Bowl party: is there anyone not holding some sort of mobile device as they watch the game? While social media tactics and channels might generally be defined as “omnichannel,” during the Super Bowl it’s mobile or nothing. So it’s critical to make sure that all your tactics are designed with the small screen in mind. Relying on responsive web design to enable an optimum viewing experience is not enough.
Skip the game and focus on the true impact of mobile.
Possibly the single most interesting trend in Super Bowl advertising this year is skipping the game completely. Volkswagen, Lincoln and other former Big Game advertisers have elected to sit the game (and its $150,000 per second advertising rate) out and instead shift spending to support a much larger mobile program, allowing them to gather more relevant and usable data and more effectively microtarget their most desired customers the other 364 days a year.
What do you think? Is a :30 Super Bowl ad worth $4.5 million? Or are there better ways to spend your money to reach your core audience?