Now that the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks have punched their tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey, the main event before kickoff can begin in full force.
What is that main event you ask?
It is Super Bowl marketing and all the incredible hype that comes with it. Though your marketing budget probably doesn’t have space for a $4 million dollar Super Bowl ad
, that doesn’t mean that your campaign and press release can’t take advantage of the hype.
Before the explosion of social media, everyone waited around for the big day when the new funny, engaging, or bizarre commercials would air during the game.
All that all changed.
Companies leak commercials and even build up to their commercials to get fans to anticipate (and discuss) what they will do on game day. It has created a consumer marketplace in which fans are watching for Super Bowl commercials in the two weeks before the game. This phenomenon has afforded advertisers additional time to build their social media and traditional branding and extend the life of their campaign.
I know what you are thinking: That’s great, but it’s vague.
Here are ways that you can make specific gains for your brand as the Super Bowl approaches:
The game has turned social
The big game is also the big event on social media. Even beforehand there is a ton of chatter about the game, the players, the parties, the personalities attending, and everything in between. This exposure gives brands a major opportunity to make gains in the numbers of their followers and “likes” that could help them link up with new consumers for years down the road.
It also gives your followers and online communities a way to engage with your brand:
“Social media has made every consumer a publisher,” says Deutsch’s Sheldon. “They garner street cred by sharing compelling content, so we use social media to fuel that phenomenon. You want to get the credit as the one who’s so plugged into culture you found it first.”
Sheldon encapsulates the benefits of using a major event like the Super Bowl to drive your campaign/press release. These days every company must produce compelling content to keep the attention of the viewer/consumer, but that is much easier to accomplish when you connect your efforts to something that already interests the prospective viewer. The Super Bowl fuels this interest, providing a great opportunity to produce a successful press release/campaign with a built-in advantage.
Bottom line: It works
Regardless of one’s feelings about the Super Bowl or interest in football, the bottom line is that not taking advantage of the popularity of the game is foolish, even if you aren’t promoting a sports-related product. Data confirm that consumers want Super Bowl-related content.
Suzie Reider, head of industry development at YouTube, offered these insights to Fast Company
In 2012, Super Bowl campaigns that released videos before game-day generated over 9.1 million views on YouTube on average, while campaigns that waited until game day or after to launch videos online averaged only 1.3 million views. “That’s a 600% difference. What we learned from last year is that having a pre-release strategy works.”
We would all love to have YouTube videos that get millions of hits, of course, but this observation can be used for more conventional campaigns as well. The 600 percent figure is extremely important when deciding when to schedule the release. The data show that when it’s released right after the two teams are set for the game, the advertising stays fresh in the consumer’s mind.
I don’t have a campaign set up. What should I do?
Sometimes creating a Super Bowl -linked campaign is easier said than done. The game is played in early February, and many companies are just starting their New Year campaigns, all of which makes for a busy January. Sometimes the Super Bowl isn’t on their minds until it is too late.
Which leads us to the inspiring and ingenious plight of Oreo’s marketing team last year:
It would have been impossible to predict the blackout that occurred during last year’s game
, so this idea was clearly created in the moment.
The tweet is a brilliant example of branding on the fly and demonstrates how you can leverage your brand during a popular event even if you aren’t putting out sports releases or even have any interest in the game.
Oreo cookies have nothing to do with sports—or a blackout—but that didn’t stop the social media marketing team from quickly producing a creative tweet about the comedic value of the situation last year. It got 15,000+ retweets and countless mentions on television and radio outreach.
Though some companies paid millions of dollars to get into the public’s mind during the game, Oreo was able to achieve the same outreach with a low-budget tweet that pretty much anyone could create.
[RELATED: Prove the ROI of your digital efforts after hearing these top-rated case studies in March.]
The key is to pay close attention, even if you aren’t buying a multi-million-dollar ad or creating a campaign surrounding the Super Bowl. And get your efforts out to the public quickly .
Simon Ogus is a media relations specialist at Business Wire, and a regular contributor to BusinessWired, the company's blog. Connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @SimonOgus.