Every sporting event is an amazing opportunity for fan engagement but the Super Bowl takes this to a whole other level. That said, there is so much advertising surrounding the game it’s hard for a brand to cut through the clutter and to command the attention of fans either in real time or in the post-event chatter that follows. This is even more true given the dizzying array of channel options that brands now have through which to share their marketing, whether it be in the form of a commercial that extends its life online or a social media campaign that culminates at the event. With these formidable challenges in mind, it’s critical that brands leverage three strategies to capitalize on this once-a-year opportunity.
1.) Convert fan passion into brand action: Too many brands make the mistake of seeking customer acquisition rather than action. A sporting event of this magnitude gives brands the chance to direct the passion of fans towards their products. But to really impact their business, brands must inspire them to take action whether it be visiting their website, buying a product, or sharing brand content. Only then does their marketing investment translate into a measurable ROI that can build their business, its reputation and sales.
2.) Celebrate the fan, player, or team – not the brand: One of the most common mistakes you see in Super Bowl commercials is brands focusing too much on themselves. Yes, its an incredible opportunity to reach a staggering amount of people, but if brands truly want those fans to amplify their message, they must make the fans or customers the hero of the story. This can be done a variety of ways including crowdsourcing content, telling a story about the fan experience, or enlisting the support of fans to have a positive social impact.
3.) Serve something bigger than the game: For most people attending the Super Bowl the ultimate measure of success is who wins the day. But no matter who wins, every fan either watching in the stands or at home is open to aligning with the brand around shared values. So whether a brand gives fans the opportunity to share a message around a social issue or to make a contribution, brands can inspire loyalty by clearly communicating what they care about and giving fans an opportunity to work together towards a common goal.
With these three strategies in mind, there are four steps a brand should follow to ensure their Super Bowl efforts translate into long term business benefits:
1.) Content and technology: The first is to leverage content and technology to share the brands story across all fan touch points. Now that every fan has a smartphone in their pocket, brands have an enormous opportunity to connect with fans in real time especially with the technology built into connected stadiums.
2.) Product integration: As long as there’s an authentic alignment between a brand, its products, and the game, the Super Bowl presents an incredible opportunity to integrate your product into the experience of the day whether it be on the field, through ads, online, or across social media.
3.) Social media amplification: No matter what story your brand is telling, social media allows companies to reach fans across multiple channels in real time that can then live on for weeks after the event. This can generate millions of media impressions and inspire countless fans to introduce their brand or products to new potential customers.
4.) Data insights: No amount of effort is meaningful if its not measured and then managed. As such, brands must track their impact across traditional, digital, and social media before, during, and after the event to discover what worked, what didn’t, and what to do better next year.
By combining these three strategies and four stages of engagement a brand can turn a Super Bowl event into real-time engagement and long-term loyalty. Today’s fans are not only empowered with connective technology to amplify a brand, but they are so steeped in advertising that they to can become willing partners in driving a brand’s success.