Super Bowl advertising placements provide brands with a vast audience that could be used to increase sales. Millions of people watch the Super Bowl each year, with 43% of consumers watching specifically for the ads. In the U.S. alone, sports programming accounted for 98% of the most-viewed programs across broadcast, SME research found, and 72% of the most-viewed programs on cable television between January and September 2021—with last year’s Super Bowl LV accounting for 20.3 billion minutes viewed.
Super Bowl ads can be a huge success and the investment of $6 million must drive returns. The ad should shine for more than 30 seconds. While an ad during the Super Bowl is typically a strategy to boost brand awareness—even for brands that are already market leaders—that ad spot must be considered as part of a more robust campaign strategy, so consumers are nurtured long after game day is over.
It is important for brands to always be in the forefront of consumers’ minds. But focusing too much on awareness strategies can limit the effectiveness of Super Bowl ads. Marketers need to integrate their ads in a holistic approach. They should also continue to execute brand-building initiatives which support the top funnel as well as nurture returning customers and prospects. By considering every consumer touchpoint surrounding a brand’s Super Bowl ad to be a brand-building opportunity, marketers can achieve more cohesive campaigns that deliver a stronger impact.
Turn awareness into brand building
To achieve more than short-term lift for the brand, Super Bowl ads should reinforce brands’ regular TV advertising, not replace it. Consumers who have heard about the brand before may be more likely to buy the product after the Super Bowl. However, consumers who only learn of the brand on the Super Bowl may not feel compelled to do so. Super Bowl advertising can strengthen brands’ relationships with key stakeholders like distributors of beer and dealers for cars. A secondary benefit of Super Bowl ads is that these placements block competitors from using the airtime for themselves—so marketers will want to use this moment when their brand is top of mind for consumers to its full advantage.
Marketers can broadcast the Super Bowl commercial beyond the 30-second television slot to increase its reach and impact. More organizations are choosing to share their ads ahead of the game, with brands like Amazon already releasing their 2022 Super Bowl commercials. Super Bowl ads are still being aired. After the event also strengthens brand building efforts by increasing wear-in, which grows the ROI on the placement. Known as the halo effect, ads aired again after the game are more recalled and liked by viewers who tune into the Super Bowl than those who did not watch the game, underscoring how repeated brand exposure can solidify a consumer’s relationship with a brand.
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Super Bowl advertising is useful for increasing awareness and quickly achieving reach goals—but zeroing in on short-term tactics loses marketers the opportunity to drive bigger returns over time. SME historical data shows that the ROI for Super Bowl advertising is lower than typical TV spending, meaning the short-term lift from these placements isn’t as impactful as marketers anticipate. To expand a Super Bowl ad’s impact, marketers should think of the Super Bowl ad moment as a launch point for a bigger campaign. Given how many viewers tune in specifically for the ads, Super Bowl ads tend to fuel higher-than-usual ad recall (e.g., SME Ad Intel found that ad recall for a Super Bowl ad from a major food and beverage company delivered 80% higher recall than the brand’s other TV investments). However, remembering an ad isn’t the same as acting on it, which is why marketers need to establish a path of consumer touchpoints that prompt future action.
Following up touchpoints can be achieved through social media. Super Bowl ads often reap the benefits of social media chatter, and people engaging in the brand’s advertising campaign. Consumers also look for ads that were not shown during the Super Bowl, increasing their viewing. This buzz should be used by marketers to strengthen connections with their consumers. In addition to call-to-actions that encourage sales, ads should direct consumers toward actions that keep them in the brand’s atmosphere, like following their social channel, using a hashtag, or joining a loyalty program. By establishing an omnichannel brand-building campaign that continuously reinforces a brand’s value to consumers, marketers will see the ROI of each individual tactic—like a Super Bowl campaign—increase.
Even Super Bowl ads can serve as a learning experience for marketers to tighten their messaging and strategies over time, which is why marketers should have a mindset of continuous optimization for their campaigns—along with a dynamic martech toolbox. It is possible to use the best tools to analyze all touchpoints, both top-offunnel and bottom-offunnel. Marketers can then better evaluate performance and plan for the future by using the right tools.
Brands have a golden opportunity with the Super Bowl. Super Bowl advertising should not only be used to raise brand awareness, but also establish lasting relationships with key audience members. This will ensure that Super Bowl ads remain relevant long after they are finished.
This article appeared first on DMCNY.