For the advertising community, the dawning of a new year represents the beginning of the high-stake countdown to football’s biggest game of the year. Every year, marketers, brands and agencies looking to score a marketing touchdown invest countless resources to produce thought-provoking, funny, and innovative ads for one of the most widely watched centerpiece events. With so much at stake, planning and executing the right digital advertising campaign can be intimidating. Below are some data-based best practices to keep in mind for optimizing performance around your brand’s strategy for the big game.
1. Start your digital ad campaign earlier for higher engagement
While most ads surrounding the big game are most widely associated with the actual broadcast, for digital campaigns that’s not necessarily the only time slot that marketers should focus on. For instance, according to insights from Amobee DataMine; PC CTR was 62% higher on the Sunday of the big game in 2017 between Noon - 4p.m. Eastern compared to average PC CTR during that time period on every other Sunday in 2017. Additionally between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern on the Sunday of the big game 2017, skippable video ads were skipped at a rate 94% less often compared to the average for that time period during all Sundays in 2017. By digging deeper into data, marketers can identify non-traditional opportunities to engage a relevant audience in a way that makes the most sense for the goals of their specific campaign.
2. Advanced TV Audience Targeting Helps Improve Efficiency
In 2016, an average of 1.4 million people streamed the big game per second, and while that’s a fraction of the 111.9 million viewers who watched the game on TV, for niche brands that digital audience is potentially much more valuable because of granular targeting. For example, take a small fishing pole company that wants to target middle-aged men who watch Deadliest Catch. By buying a 30 second ad during the big game broadcast, they’d reach that audience for sure, but they’d still be paying over $5 million dollars to reach a broad audience that primarily doesn’t fit that description. Thanks to the granular targeting capabilities of Advanced TV, marketers can better target the audience they actually want.
3. Keep the Social Message Conversation Going Through Amplification
Some of the ads during last year’s big game that were the most memorable spoke to a social issue. 84 Lumber had a spot whose content focused on immigration and, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence, more than 9 out of every 10 digital content engagement between December 17, 2016 and January 17, 2018, related to 84 Lumber directly mentioned the “Super Bowl”. Clear thought leadership around a social issue is an impactful way for a brand to start a conversation around the big game, but in order to continue that conversation, the broadcast spot is only the beginning. Through a digital campaign, brands can identify relevant stakeholders for the issue by attributes such as age, gender, geography and interests to make sure the brand becomes a sticky association around the message they’re championing.
4. Ad Sequencing Makes Your Ad Really Memorable
While Apple’s full 1984 ad famously aired only once, the days where an advertisement can stand out having only aired once are long gone. According to Business Insider, there were 77 ads that ran during last year’s broadcast, and while the big game can lead to earned amplification, ads can just as easily disappear from the audience’s memory due to exposure to a high volume of ads. Using a cross channel ad sequencing campaign, brands can cut through anonymous unique user IDs and cap the frequency that a user sees an ad across multiple devices. This assures not only the audience will remember a brand’s ad, but they’ll also view it the optimal amount.
5. Social Media Requires An Agile Strategy
The biggest real time marketing opportunity during 2013’s big game was a blackout in the stadium. In 2015, the halftime show famously featured Left Shark, a mascot that didn’t even have a name when the game began. It’s impossible to plan for a specific unexpected moment around the big game, but very possible to put your brand in a position to leverage that event in real time, once it does blow up on social media. By utilizing solutions that identify surfacing concepts trending on social media, including Amobee Brand Intelligence, brands can both purchase relevant keywords faster and prepare related owned social media messaging sooner. Getting there first on social media means that paid amplification is going to be cheaper and owned messaging is going to feel fresher for the audience.
The key to success for your ad campaign for the big game will boil down to understanding your brand’s audience, figuring out the optimal times and platforms to activate that audience, and using data to optimize. When you’re ready to use a more omnichannel, data-driven strategy around taking your brand to the next level, contact the Amobee team to help you get your campaign across the goal line.