The year is 2021. Super Bowl 55 will be this Sunday. Since I was in high school, two forms of advertising got me excited and ultimately lead me into the career I am now: Black Friday ads in the newspaper and Super Bowl commercials. Companies these days spend millions of dollars for 30 seconds to a minute of airtime during the big game. You might say “But TJ, I don’t have $5 million in the budget. Can I still be effective on Super Bowl Sunday?” With a few tips, tricks, and creativity, you too can tackle Super Bowl Sunday!
Creativity Goes A Lot Further Than Money
In 2015, the price for a Super Bowl commercial slot was 4 million dollars. The car company Volvo was not going to spend that. Instead, they got creative. They redirected their efforts to social media. They knew other companies would create the conversations using their commercial slots. But Volvo figured they could change those conversations, not start them. What they did was simple. They set up a social campaign to give away five Volvo cars during the game. The rules were simple. To participate you only had to tweet #VolvoContest every time you saw any car commercial during the game.
As a marketer, this gives me goosebumps. For the cost of five cars, Volvo was able to steal the spotlight from every other car company that spent millions. As the competitors’ commercials came on TV screens around the country, people were associating the commercials with Volvo and posting about Volvo. If you don’t have a huge marketing budget, you need to get creative.
Another example is Budweiser. For this upcoming Super Bowl, the famous beer company decided to not advertise during the big game and instead, donated the millions of dollars a commercial would have cost them to COVID-19 relief. This is smart and creative for a few different reasons. Not only is it a good look for the company, with a donation to a very important cause. It also allows Budweiser to control the narrative. Budweiser was in the limelight before the game even took place. No competitors, no other conversations Just a controlled message from Budweiser.
Know your Target Market
This is a big one for all marketing efforts. Marketers need to understand who is actually watching the big game. We know men are watching—it is football after all. But women and children are watching this game too. So, as marketers, we need to take that into account. The people at Old Spice did this perfectly in 2010. They found that even though Old Spice is a men’s product, women were actually buying it for their husbands. Old Spice responded with the “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign. Did it work? Sales increased by 55 percent over the next three months.
This is easy to do on a smaller level. You know your target market. Try to relate them to different aspects of the big game.
Don’t Be Pushy
We see this time and time again. Companies try to do too much, and it comes across as foolish. We shouldn’t be interrupting people with what you are trying to market. But rather get them get them interested in the company or product.
Before 2021, Budwiser ran commercials for 37 straight years and most were excellent. They usually had nothing to do with their beer. Rather, they tried to set the mood for the type of demographic that should be buying their product. Check out last year’s “Typical American” campaign. Are they pushing beer? Not directly. They are pushing the idea that Americans and Budweiser, the brand, are the similar in a lot of ways. In turn, they will be more inclined to buy AB products in the future. Budweiser wasn’t pushy. They didn’t throw their line of beer at you and ask you to buy it. Instead they created a persona that people can relate too. They then associated their brand with that type of person. In this case, that person is a “Typical American,” a large group of people to be associated with.
These are just a few tips to get you thinking about how to best “tackle” your marketing efforts for the big game.
- Be Creative – Have fun with it. You don’t need a ton of money to have an effective marketing plan.
- Know your audience – It is not just men watching the big game. Use the vast demographic as an advantage.
- Don’t push too hard– Don’t interrupt people with what you are trying to market. Instead get them get them interested in the company or product
These tips will get you on the right track to tackle Super Bowl Sunday!