Carolina Panthers quarterback Cameron Newton crumbled under relentless pressure in last night’s Super Bowl, but brand managers rose to meet stressful
demands of their own.
What happens during the 30-second commercial spots can mean the world to organizations that pay roughly $5 million for the opportunity to grab fans’
With the rise of social media and real-time marketing, many brand managers hand the keys over to savvy social media marketers to take the wheel and steer
brands to a win.
Here are three lessons you can implement in your efforts:
1. Mountain Dew: #PuppyMonkeyBaby
The brand’s marketing team proudly unveiled this commercial for Super Bowl 50:
It sparked a plethora of social media mentions, but many were negative.
That didn’t stop the brand’s marketers. Mountain Dew’s social media team took advantage of Twitter not only to further spread the image of its terrifying creation, but
they also showed consumers that they were ready to respond with quick quips:
The lesson: If you’re aiming to make your content viral, go with the flow.
Mountain Dew looked to take over social media conversations with its wacky ad, but the overwhelming response to its effort was far from positive.
Seemingly unfazed, the brand’s social media team continued to feed the #puppymonkeybaby hashtag with additional pictures, GIFs and jokes. Mashable reported that several parody Twitter accounts popped up
shortly after the commercial aired. The tactic affected its SEO efforts and made sure everyone woke up with the phrase still on their minds.
Make sure a move like this is the right fit for your brand. If you’re not willing to poke fun at your organization—or your campaigns aren’t meant for
younger consumers that might enjoy a puppy/monkey/baby hybrid—avoid social media users’ scorn and stick to safer real-time marketing opportunities.
2. Nationwide: Put faith in brand ambassadors
Probably scarred from last year’s ill-conceived Super Bowl PSA/commercial about dead children, Nationwide’s brand managers opted not to run a commercial
during the game.
The Columbus Dispatch
reported that Nationwide’s senior vice president of marketing, Mike Boyd, said the company didn’t need the brand promotion that paying for a $5 million
Super Bowl slot would bring. It opted instead to boost brand mentions—and mention its celebrity endorser, Peyton Manning—on social media.
“We do want to support Peyton, and we will in a lot of different ways,” Boyd said.
Nationwide’s social media team tweeted its support for Manning throughout the game, tying in a
brand mention after the victory on the field:
Though the team’s efforts were conservative, Twitter and other social media platforms were flooded with references to Manning singing the brand’s short but catchy jingle:
The lesson: Do your heavy lifting before the big moment.
AWARDS: Did you use social in an innovative way to accomplish PR goals? Enter the Digital PR & Social Awards!
Deborah Mitchell, a marketing professor at Ohio State University, told The Columbus Dispatch that the work Nationwide’s marketers put into its
commercials featuring Manning has created a long-term positive association for the brand.
The great thing about the campaign “is it really lends itself to viral spread,” Mitchell said. “You can tweet it, YouTube it, Facebook it. Social media is
full of people putting their own words to the tune: ‘I just made Tom Brady cry,’ that kind of thing. People think it’s fun. The minute it becomes a
cultural phenomenon, when people put their own words to it, then it’s not just a tactic, it’s part of the culture—and that’s happening.”
Throw yourself into crafting a memorable campaign that extends into—and far beyond—a big event like the Super Bowl or the Academy Awards. Doing so can
extend the life of your marketing efforts and give you bigger bang for your budget’s bucks.
3. Budweiser: Luck pays off
Anheuser-Busch was the lucky recipient of roughly $3.2 million of free advertising after Manning announced—twice—that he would be enjoying a Budweiser
After many users wondered if Anheuser-Busch paid for the pleasure, its marketing leaders set the record straight:
The lesson: Be ready for surprises.
Yahoo Sports reported that although Manning wasn’t paid to promote Anheuser-Busch, both his on-field embrace with "Papa" John Schnatter and his Budweiser mention were
Active NFL players are not allowed to endorse alcoholic beverages, so Manning wasn't exactly getting paid to talk about his beverage of choice.
Or was he?
Manning's investment portfolio includes part ownership of two Anheuser-Busch distributors in his native Louisiana; as you probably know, Anheuser-Busch
Social media managers should be prepared for anything, from an onslaught of online criticism to a real-time marketing opportunity, like a power failureduring the Super Bowl or Pharrell wearing a hat that closely resembles your brand’s logo.
You might just get lucky.
Join us Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. Central to learn more real-time marketing tips in our Twitter #RaganChat. We'll be joined by marketing pro Susan Harrison.