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An Argument for Benching Your Super Bowl Campaign


You’d think after 52 Super Bowls we’d all get a little tired of rehashing the big marketing moments. Yet here we are, making references to the Oreo Super Bowl Blackout tweet or the E-Trade baby or the original 1984 Apple ad. Or maybe you have your own favorite big budget campaigns or stroke of luck tactics that you wish you’d thought of. Don’t go there. If you’re among the majority of marketers without a massive Super Bowl budget, be grateful. Justifying the ROI is tough. Especially since digital marketing gives us the ability to analyze every customer interaction and attach an algorithm and spreadsheet to it. Which is why it’s still surprising to see so much effort being put into a 60-minute game.

Sure, the Super Bowl gives the perception of a captive audience on TV and online, but it takes more than a cute monkey to break through these days.

Given the fact that we can analyze and predict customer behavior to personalize campaigns, it’s worth asking why so many marketers are clamoring for attention during the Super Bowl. Appealing to mass audiences means having to resort to the lowest common denominators. Yet we all know that during the other 364 days of the year our mission as marketers is to treat customers as individuals and present personalized offers that speak to their particular interests and needs.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get your message across and latch on to the Super Bowl zeitgeist. It does mean that it’s worth asking the hard questions if you still have digital marketing campaigns in the works. Fanfare aside, the biggest question every marketer should ask is whether a Super Bowl campaign will positively impact customer engagement and deliver a respectable ROI.

If you’re intent on going forward with an online Super Bowl marketing campaign, here are three recommendations for breaking through the noise.

Consider the latest shift by brands that are doubling down on direct to consumer (DTC). Driven by data, those personalized customer experiences are based on one-to-one interactions. You can’t get that through mass media buys, but you can get it if you’ve earned your way into the customer’s inbox by invitation and targeted messages. Using the Super Bowl as the hook, not the campaign, segment your audience by those most likely to latch on to a Super Bowl themed campaign and present a targeted offer and content. If your audience doesn’t align with the big game, don’t clutter their inbox.

Imagine your customers on Super Bowl Sunday. Odds are that a lot of them are getting together with friends at a Super Bowl party and talking right through the ads. And since like-minded people are often gathered together, insert yourself into their conversation. You can do this in advance of the game with compelling content and an offer. For example, find some obscure Super Bowl facts or other fun conversation starters based on your customers’ interests and tangentially related to your products and services. Package it up as an email with a compelling offer that increases in value when a customer shares it and then spike the urgency with a CTA tied to the game.

Think about the post-game campaign. This is where playing Monday morning quarterback is actually a good idea. Keep track of the big moments of the game and whip up a creative campaign based on it. Again, focus on engaging those customers that are most likely to tune into it, not your entire audience.

Marketing through the Super Bowl is cost prohibitive for a lot of companies and yet many feel left on the sidelines if they’re not in on the action. That old school mentality is shifting as digital marketing delivers even more personalization and brands are focusing on reaching customers where and when they’re most likely to engage with them, regardless of what’s going on around them.

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    Michal Leszczynski | Content Marketing Manager, GetResponse

    Michal Leszczynski
    Content Marketing Manager, GetResponse
    Michal is a Content marketing expert who’s just as eager to lead the team as to get his own hands dirty by creating SEO-optimized and data-backed content.
    He develops content based on experience, gut-feeling, and a hell lot of research made with tools such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, and Search Metrics.
    His Specialties include content, email, marketing automation, social media, and ecommerce.
    He is involved in managing content marketing projects throughout all the stages – planning, creation, distribution, and analysis.

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