By Nikki Hawke, Vice President of Marketing, Global, The Exchange Lab
The Super Bowl is the most watched television event in the United States with a record 111.5 million TV viewers in 2014, according to Nielsen, and an even larger audience is expected in 2016. This size and quality of the audience equates to endless opportunities for brands, especially since approximately one-third of viewers tune into the game for the commercials, according to the NRF. Technology is a game changer with the rise of social media, “second screens” and smart TVs forever altering the viewing experience. Technology has also changed how advertisers engage with their audience during major sporting events.
A 30-second television spot during the Super Bowl runs at approximately $4.5 million, and inventory is sold quickly. In 2015, the first televised Super Bowl ads were purchased programmatically by Oreo and Ritz, which shows the increase in confidence around programmatic performance on a large scale, according to Adweek.
For brands that want to maximize their budget, make a significant impact and engage with their consumers, even without a TV spot, a solid programmatic strategy can mean the difference between getting lost in the crowd and scoring a marketing touchdown.
Here are the top three things digitally savvy marketers should consider leading up to Super Bowl 50:
Real-time reactions are key
Using programmatic, brands can react to pivotal moments of the game, such as a touchdown or an injury in real-time, serving relevant ad creative to consumers across devices.
Leverage data and insights you have around Super Bowl, along with other live sporting events, to create a solid strategy that includes varied creative executions, customized messages and encourages flexibility around the real-time events on the field as well as consumer reactions to those events.
Reach consumers across devices
Real-time storytelling across devices is key for your brand to be a Super Bowl success story. While the television may be the center of attention during the game, it’s important to coordinate all the digital touchpoints around it to ensure the most effective marketing strategy.
Social should be a top consideration when planning your programmatic strategy considering that 65 percent of adults now use social networking sites actively – a nearly tenfold jump in the last decade – and 90 percent of young adults (aged 18 to 29) are active on social consistently, according to PEW research.
Implementing tactics that allow marketers to automatically coordinate their digital display advertising with TV advertising is highly effective. If you are running a TV ad and want to ensure a second touchpoint with consumers, these tactics offer brands the ability to reach audiences at scale across multiple screens in-sync. Marketers could choose their own TV ad as a prompt or the TV ad of a competitor so they could serve a competing message to someone using a tablet or mobile device while watching the Super Bowl.
Create personalized content
When connecting with “always on” consumers, it’s important to remember the amount of messaging they are exposed to on a daily basis. Not only is it essential to ensure your message stands out, but it also needs to be relevant to their real-time experiences, both offline and online.
During a sporting event such as the Super Bowl, many viewers are in the zone while the game is in play, are talking about what’s happening on the field during breaks, and are experiencing heightened emotions. Making a sports fan laugh at a time when they are feeling positive about their team winning or serving relevant messaging during a low point for their team in the game can have a lasting impact on your brand’s connection with that consumer.
For 2016, Doritos is repeating its “Crash the Super Bowl” competition where they ask consumers to create their best ads, and Carnival is asking people to decide what its first Super Bowl ad should be. Overall, Super Bowl spots have grown out of pure entertainment and evolved to cross-device brand engagement that encourages consumers to buy products and have a real-time conversation with brands.
Digital marketing across devices has become a requisite for brands, changing the face of advertising, especially when it comes to live events. As the athletes move into high gear leading up to the Super Bowl, marketers should be doing the same to ensure they are game ready.