Whitney Stephens

Senior Manager, Marketing Communications

Super Bowl 50: Advertisers Face Off

As marketers, the Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated events of the year. While many brands are releasing their Super Bowl ads in advance of the game, the rush of real-time marketing and the big “reveal” from brands that have only provided pre-game teasers still makes the night for many of us (or at least comes in a close second, depending on your team!).

In fact, according to a USA Today survey, 78% of people are more excited for the Super Bowl’s ads than they are for the actual game.

What can you expect this year? Here are six key marketing trends to keep on your radar as you watch Sunday’s game.


1. A lighter approach

While last year’s ads collectively had a heavy overtone, brands seem to be taking a lighter approach to this year’s TV spots. The New York Times shares that “marketers want to have fun again.” This is evidenced in commercials from Snickers (with a parody of Marilyn Monroe’s Happy Birthday), Avocados from Mexico, Bud Light (which features comedians Amy Schumer and Seth Rogan), and more.


2. Increased enthusiasm for advertising

Ad Age reports that CBS nearly sold out of Super Bowl ad slots by mid-November. With each :30 spot costing brands around $5 million (for the past five years, the cost has increased an average of 11.1% per year), there’s a lot riding on delivering an engaging and effective TV experience.

Even Amazon is getting in on this year’s game, choosing Super Bowl 50 to release its first-ever TV spot.


3. An emphasis on social

Traditionally, TV commercials have held viewers’ undivided attention, but in recent years, quick, real-time marketing efforts have made a play for advertising MVP. Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark post during Super Bowl 2013 upped the ante for advertisers, proving the value of brand/agency alignment and creatively thinking on your feet.

Last year, McDonald’s had an innovative social strategy – using social media to highlight other brands’ spots and give away every product advertised, in real-time, during the game.

For Super Bowl 50, social media will continue to play a large role, with brands creating hashtags to continue conversations and engage audiences, well after their advertisements have aired.


4. Second screen integration

This is a huge opportunity for marketers. Marrying online search with TV ads enables you to more easily reach your audience at moments when they are already engaged with your product. Brands with Super Bowl TV ads can develop a search advertising strategy to deliver relevant online ads during and after their televised spots air, when people are most likely to be searching for their products or offers.

Ad technology wywy put together a recap of 2015 Super Bowl advertisers, highlighting the amount of missed opportunity advertisers face if they don’t consider a second screen search audience.

If you want to learn more about Rise’s work with second screen integration, check out this piece in MediaPost.


5. A beacon-enhanced live experience

For the lucky few who will be attending Super Bowl 50, San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium is now fully equipped with beacons. Marketers are able to target the nearly 70,000 fans watching the game in person in real-time, based on their specific locations within the stadium.

In addition to the marketing opportunities presented by these 2,000+ beacons, here’s a look at all areas of the Super Bowl stadium that are sponsored by brands.


6. A significant audience on nontraditional platforms

This is the first year the Super Bowl will be readily available to those who are not traditional TV watchers. While in the past the game was available via TV, desktop or mobile, this year, those with Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and other connected TV devices will be able to watch the game. In fact, CBS required that all advertisers buying broadcast time also buy digital streaming ad space. It’s possible that digital-only ads will fill local ad time, as only national ads will be shown on these devices.


Whether you are planning to watch the game online, on Roku, or on a classic TV screen, enjoy your Super Bowl weekend! To talk stats, touchdowns, and MVPs (marketing or sports related), reach out to Rise.

02/05/2016 at 12:00

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