Commentary

Is The Super Bowl Still Super For CPG Brands?

Given the way 2020 turned out, there are only so many things that get us excited and briefly distract us from our everyday lives. Sports is one of them.

Super Bowl LV, to be held on Feb. 7,  is preparing for 20% stadium seating capacity, partnering with Visa to go cashless in-stadium, is nearly sold out of advertising slots according to reports, and will have a halftime show, even if the game gets canceled. 2020 may be far from grand, but the Super Bowl is still super.

With a limited capacity in-stadium, expect viewership to be larger than last year’s 99.9 million. As I opined earlier this year, the Super Bowl is a cultural event — a time to connect your product to pop culture.

The time is now for CPG companies to make this a Super Bowl to remember, even if at-home parties are smaller than previous years.

Bring the Super Bowl — stadium and all —  to consumers. Create a kit that includes a fold-out of the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, for consumers to hang inside their homes. Hide a QR code that will open an AR experience that mimics sitting inside the stadium. Include something non-food-related, like miniature palm trees, to give those who live in cold climates the illusion of sun and fun.

In-store, create an end cap that leverages AR; bring players and teams to the consumers, giving them a look inside the stadium that’s sharable on social media. Those who share content via social channels receive an instant coupon for the highlighted product(s).

Create single-serve packaging available for purchase in bulk. Have a Super Bowl locker for each person that has a section for a few dips, chips and other snackable products. Consumers can double-dip all they want, since everything will be individually-sized for hygienic reasons.

Online, interact with fans and send coupons for various products to enjoy on game day, when they share their favorite team, player, and the types of food and drink that make for an ideal Super Bowl party.

Have your brand’s digital campaigns increased during the pandemic? If not, they should be.

Be prepared to pivot said campaigns. I don’t know about you, but the word pivot has become one of my least favorite words throughout the pandemic. Yet here I am using it. With so many unknown factors between now and the Super Bowl, brands must have a plan, a backup, and a backup to the backup.

What if the Super Bowl moves to its make-up date of Feb. 28 or is canceled completely? Pepsi said it plans on having a halftime show with or without a big game. The same should be said for your marketing plan. Prepare for the expected, but expect the unexpected. Be flexible and ready to zag rather than zig.

The majority of Super Bowl party spending already goes to food and drink. Will 2021 see an ever bigger increase in food and drink purchases?

With more people watching the game at home and looking forward to a double distraction of sports and Super Bowl commercials, as my Magic 8-Ball says: Signs point to yes.

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