Predictions: 3 Ways Super Bowl Advertisers Will Win Big On Social

It’s awards show season, and every year the advertising community hosts its own party on the biggest stage in the world: the Super Bowl. Brands break out the big budgets and the agency community pulls out all the stops. It’s the pinnacle of advertising, and every year, it sets new trends in advertising.

This year, the digital advertising community is getting involved as never before. Let’s walk through a few predictions for the big day.

Prediction 1) Mobile ads will be the MVP. Okay, mobile advertising isn’t new, but many advertisers are still underestimating the power of paid social to reach mobile audiences. Facebook now makes 78% of its ad revenue via mobile ads. Almost 50% of Facebook users never even use the service on desktop today.

Last year, half of US viewers were on their phones during the Super Bowl. Do you think they were playing Clash of Clans? Nope! They were joining friends for shared experience.

It’s not just about Facebook, either. Instagram is all about real-time sharing and showing off team allegiance, and Twitter’s newly-announced Conversational ad unit, which let advertisers promote hashtag-based conversations, is part of what makes that platform more real-time today than ever before. Even Pinterest could be a strong investment, especially leading up to the game, as that channel is known to captivate party-planner and foodie communities.

Whatever the channel, mobile ads will play a key role in the advertising strategies for most TV-advertising brands this year because the big game is such an overtly social event.

Prediction 2: Scroll-stopping videos will intercept attention. There’s been much debate over the last few years about whether “leaking” Super Bowl ads is a savvy way to build buzz for your brand in the era of the Social Web.

This year, Super Bowl advertisers like are avoiding that debate by staggering the release of teaser videos on social. Strategies have evolved to include separate campaigns that do more before (not just during and after) live events, and video is playing a key role now that there’s wide support for video across channels.

Instagram, a platform that calls to mind static photo content, seems to be serving more video ads than ever before, and Twitter just released its Periscope integration, making live streaming video more discoverable.

Video ads are going to see action on game day. Look for the best of them to extend and deepen the television experience many brands create with their TV ads during the Super Bowl. This will be a key driver of ad engagement through social.

Prediction 3: TV-synced social ads will be a touchdown for ROI. Programmatic advertising is still on the rise, precision is improving, and the definition of advertising automation is changing.

For advertisers hoping to hit the social feeds at the right time, advertising automation is swooping in to deliver ads at key moments in live cultural events like the Super Bowl. This campaign automation is making real-time tactics more scalable for advertisers. (Think of Oreo’s famous “dunk in the dark” Tweet, then imagine real-time ads going live immediately after every big play in the game.)

Extending the experience in this way is key to increasing ROI when the cost of one part of your campaign marketing mix has now soared above $4.4 million for 30 seconds of audience exposure. This year, Super Bowl advertisers will turn more of that cost into value by leveraging new opportunities to sync the story by tying TV and social together — in real time.

The Key to Winning the Big Game? Combine Set Plays with Audibles

Mobile, TV-syncing, and video ads will all make appearances during Super Bowl 50, but combining all three could constitute a sound game plan, too. Instill your “set plays” and automate as many as you can anticipate. This will free up your marketing quarterback to call opportunistic audibles from the huddle.  

The marketing establishment will still declare winners and losers based solely on the creativity of the 30-second spots produced for the big game. While these marketing Hail Marys are fun to watch and talk about, in advertising as with football, the game is often won or lost before stepping on the field. Careful preparation and a solid game plan will determine the winners and losers on Super Bowl Sunday. Are you ready for some football?

1 comment about "Predictions: 3 Ways Super Bowl Advertisers Will Win Big On Social".
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  1. Ronan Higgins from TVadSync, January 29, 2016 at 6:11 a.m.

    Regrettably Facebook native social ads (mobile) still have a significant latency between setting a campaign active and seeing impression delivery.  FBX doesn't have the same problem but restricted to desktop inventory only.

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