The Super Bowl Cometh. Help Your Brand Win By Ignoring It

There are no fewer than 1,500 posts circulating online around the best marketing campaigns to create to capture your share of the Super Bowl frenzy that is now upon us. This is not one of those posts.

While every other brand is sitting there, devoting thousands in marketing spend (likely more) eagerly watching the game as it happens to be ready to pounce on that million-dollar Oreo moment (remember that? They tweeted “you can still dunk in the dark” during Super Bowl XLVII's infamous blackout and won the internet?) — well instead of doing that, you can do something different. You should. Here’s why — and it will be followed by what:

It’s annoying. How many social media and blog posts are there during the Super Bowl season that are about the Super Bowl. 15 million. I just made that number up, but you didn’t doubt it, right? Because we see an endless supply of witty mentions and misguided memes — and no doubt many will have an added political element to them this time around. Like we need any more of that? Argh. Seeing too much of anything makes consumers scroll by, and a misguided witty whatever has the ability to have the exact opposite effect and leave you with a PR nightmare in your lap instead of new sales.



ROI is questionable.Speaking of new sales, the ROI on Super Bowl advertising is certainly questionable. Have you tracked it? If you haven’t (and most haven’t, if they’re being honest) you should really establish some hard metrics to measure your campaign’s effectiveness. And don’t use “reach” as your primary measure, because it’s easy to get a football kitten meme shared countless times, but attracting the right folks to your product or service and then converting them to a sale? That’s entirely different — and relevant.

Your time is limited. You have better things to do with your time, don’t you? Well, read on and you will!

Now for what you should do, specifically:

So you shouldn’t entirely ignore it — even though that’s what the headline says — that would be silly, though. Acknowledge it as you would any other huge event with a social media post or two that relates back to your brand. Heck, even a blog post! But designing an entire campaign around it? Bleh. Instead, try directing that campaign funding to these much more ROI-worthy endeavors:

Sentiment analysis.This still sounds very next-level big brotherish, I know, but there’s a world of data floating around out there and every social network is selling it. Now, you can’t personally afford unlimited access to Twitter’s firehose no doubt (its API), unless you have a cool million burning a hole in your pocket, but you can connect with one of the firms that do (NetBase, Sprinklr, Hootsuite, to name a few) – and you should. Why? You’ll have access to every variety of information shared and can segment audiences in ways that will help reveal new audiences that you never knew existed! There are adjacencies that exist in every vertical and are ripe for discovery — either by you or your competitors. 

Competitive analysis. This should be an ongoing activity regardless of all the advice guiding you to “stay in your own lane” and “keep your eyes forward.” That’s all well and good, but you need to have your hand on the pulse of your vertical, and one of the most efficient ways to do that is to see what competitors are doing and ways you can do it better. This can also help you not waste time on things they’ve already tried and failed at, or to build upon their efforts and make a better attempt. Take some of that Super Bowl money and make sure this competitive analysis wheel keeps turning instead. It’s money well spent.

Personalized interactions.Direct some of that budget to wo/man hours and have a few communication-savvy employees log time interacting (in a targeted way) with prospective customers. A simple hashtag search reveals folks displeased with services from competitors; reach out to them and solve those concerns! Or find folks interested in your products/services or feeling some sort of way about the space you inhabit (from your sentiment analysis) and connect with them! Offer demos, ideas or just funny interactions showing you understand their concerns and empathize. 

Targeted discounts. You’re not spending six million on a six-second Super Bowl ad? Wonderful! You can use that money to create some targeted discount offers for repeat customers. Use that email list you have that shows repeat purchases and wish lists and send them an offer they can’t refuse. Heck, you can even say you’re sending it in honor of the Super Bowl or instead of an ad! They’ll like that, no doubt and appreciate your attention.

And once the Super Bowl is over, we’ll have Valentine’s Day immediately upon us. Pop back over and reread this when we do as the same sentiment applies!

5 comments about "The Super Bowl Cometh. Help Your Brand Win By Ignoring It".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. charles bachrach from BCCLTD, January 26, 2017 at 2:24 p.m.

    Don't waste client money on the Super around it.  You'll reach more people overall, especially women.  The price/value for a :30 in the game just doesn't provide a decent ROI!!!

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 26, 2017 at 4:26 p.m.

    Charles, many advertisers buy time in the Super Bowl not just for the ratings but as part of a major once a year promotional ploy. Just being there, with the much higher than usual viewer interest in the ads as well as other perks---like taking your best customers to the games and then wining and dining them-----more than makes up for the high CPM---or so they think. Most of these variables can't be quantified in ROI terms.

  3. Chuck Lantz from, network, January 26, 2017 at 6 p.m.

    Considering the fact that the Super Bowl involves one team with a known cheater at QB, and the other team employed and defended a guy convicted of animal cruelty, the ads are the only thing I can watch with a clear conscience. 

  4. charles bachrach from BCCLTD, January 26, 2017 at 6:10 p.m.

    Ed, buying the Super Bowl has nothing to do with CPM's, but rather all the other itmes you mentioned.  As you may recall I spent a lot of years around the corner from BBDO while at Ogilvy.
    We did indeed meet.  All of that said, in the climate today, I believe a client can do much better than buying the game and entertaining.  Remember when we were taken on trips by the media?  You're a research me the numbers that will prove that the Super Bowl alone moved enough product to justify buy it.

  5. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 27, 2017 at 7:15 a.m.

    Charles, I was never able to find any proof that the Super Bowl moved ordinary product like soft drinks, beer, etc. any better than other, cheaper, forms of TV, though some of the high tech type advertisers probably will claim otherwise. My point is merely that a lot of advertisers believe that being a "sponsor" of such a major TV "event", plus having their ads seen by a huge audience, is worth the money. I look at the Super Bowl mainly as a promotional or brand image buy, not a justifiable media buy. I doubt that any "programmatic" buying system would even consider it.

Next story loading loading..