Super Bowl Commercials: A New Approach To Marketing

Posted by Alisa Bartash on January 30, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Washington DC marketing strategyIn years past, we would have to wait until the day after the Super Bowl to write an article about the Super Bowl commercials. Not this year!  In a move that demonstrates the impact social media and viral videos have on the most effective marketing strategies, advertisers are already competing for views of their Super Bowl commercials. 

The competition actually began in early January, when the first Super Bowl commercials were released oline. The big players have created integrated marketing strategies to promote their Super Bowl commercials and are taking to social media and YouTube for their own pre-game shows.

The trend started in 2011 when Volkswagen released “The Force” – which received over 10 million views on YouTube by the time the Super Bowl aired, and is the most viral Super Bowl campaign to date with over 82 million views.  82 million views since 2011! Based on that number alone, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this tactic has continued to gain popularity and become what it is today. 

The Super Bowl commercial competition of old was built around the elements of curiosity, anticipation, interest and surprise. This was achieved by carefully guarding Super Bowl ads until they aired during the game, with the hope of surprising the audience with an amazing commercial. But YouTube has been a major game-changer for advertisers, and now the marketing strategy has changed. Today, success is often measured by counting the number of views your ad receives…and comparing those results to other ads…even ones that are for non-competing products!

By releasing commercials weeks before the big game and using paid promotion (like the ad Bud Light is running featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger) to increase views, advertisers have found a new recipe for success.

Speaking of paid promotion…

The millions of views come at a cost, but one that advertisers are willing to pay. What used to be a $4 million venture to get a 30-second spot in the Super Bowl line-up, now costs upwards of $2 million MORE for the paid promotion on YouTube (one could argue that the biggest winner in all this is YouTube and parent company, Google).

For the millions of dollars companies are spending, they feel like they’re getting an insurance plan, since apparently no one wants to ‘play’ in the Super Bowl without a good insurance plan. Dannon’s senior director of public relations, Michael Neuwirth, told AdAge.com, "we can't control the viewership and the exposure our ad will get during the Super Bowl, but we can control the views and exposure leading up to and afterwards."  And as Chrysler proved in 2013, using the old-school playbook will no longer cut it in the game of most views – it’s “Farmer” ad finished outside the top-10.

Post your favorite Super Bowl ads below in our comments section. And if you are looking for help creating your own effective marketing strategy, download our free ebook, The Marketing Strategy Model.  It is a step by step guide to developing the best marketing strategy for your business.


Tags: Trends, social media, viral, Sports Marketing, Super Bowl, alisa bartash

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