What your business can learn from Super Bowl ads, and how to apply the tactics to your own marketing strategies
Most small businesses can’t spend $7M on a 30-second TV ad, while at the same time hiring a couple of A-list celebrities and spending some serious money producing a professional video.
While Super Bowl Ad ads are usually reserved for big brands that want to boost consumer awareness, we at Liquid Creative love to look beyond the TV ad and see what big brands are doing with their whole campaign.
In this article, we share four actionable lessons gleaned from Super Bowl ads that any business can apply to improve their own marketing strategies.
Four winning digital marketing strategies small businesses can put in play
Your campaign needs to be everywhere
A campaign is much more than an ad. Some of the most successful campaigns we saw during the Super Bowl broadcast went beyond that 30-second TV commercial and expanded to multiple platforms like social media, video platforms, digital ads, offline activities, and even viral trends. This is because brands need to be present in different touchpoints to reach their clients in multiple moments.
For example, PopCorners was present with their “Breaking Good” campaign on multiple platforms and ad formats, including social media, website, YouTube channel, and on video and search ads. Their campaign was also active before, during, and after the game.
Test and measure results – before, during, and after
Even if you apply the best creative strategies, you can never guarantee how your audience will react to your campaigns until you test them. Testing can be done previous to launching a campaign, during the campaign, or even after the campaign cycle has ended.
If you want to test your campaign before you launch it, you can use focus groups to show your ad to a reduced sample of your target audience. Then you improve the ad based on their feedback.
Another option is to test your campaign once it’s launched. You can do that by doing an A/B test. This means creating two variations of your campaign and monitoring both in real time to determine which one performs best. After a period of time, you stick with the winner.
Finally, if your campaign is already running, check your own metrics and evaluate what worked best (and also what didn’t), so you can focus on what works and make improvements or changes in upcoming campaigns.
For example, Anheuser-Busch ran their Busch Light campaigns in front of focus groups and improved details of their commercials based on feedback before creating the final ad. They checked to see if the message was clear, if the ad was entertaining, and if the brand was recognizable.
Graphics from Anheuser-Busch / iSpotTV
Include a Call-to-Action
Most Super Bowl ads are focused on creating brand awareness. Often, big companies simply need to remind consumers that their brand exists or what it has to offer. But small businesses need to be more actionable. Their campaigns need to motivate users to take a specific action – like visit a website, watch a video, or download an app. Later, you can track those actions and evaluate the effectiveness of a campaign.
Rakuten, Limit Break, and Planters are 3 examples of Super Bowl ads with a call-to-action.
Understand who your target audience is and what they are doing when engaging with your ads
Targeting the right audience is key to any marketing campaign. This usually means creating a demographic and psychographic profile of your audience. Demographics define things like age, sex, and geographic location. Psychographic defines things like your audience’s interests, personality, and lifestyle.
While all of these factors are important, you also need to understand where, when, and how your audience is going to engage with your campaign. Are they going to be busy and distracted, or relaxed and attentive? Are they actively looking for your service, or are you doing a cold reach?
Although commercials are an expected part of the Super Bowl, the average audience is not paying full attention. They are celebrating with friends, waiting for the game to resume, and in a heightened mood.
Joe Lennon, Vice President of Insights for Anheuser-Busch recognized this state of mind, which he described as, “a moment of cheers,” when “viewers expect Super Bowl level energy, so the [ad] must match the vibrancy.”
Is it time to up your game?
The commercials that air during the Super Bowl have become almost as anticipated as the game itself. Even if your business can’t match an NFL-sized budget, we recommend you implement these four game-changing marketing strategies and get your company a win. And if you need help, pass the ball to Liquid Creative and we can help you.