You can spend millions on the perfect advertising campaign but when the winning quarterback comes off the field and says:
‘I want to go kiss my wife and my kids. I want to go hug my family. I’m going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight, I promise you that.’
It’s like winning the lottery (or $1.6 million free advertising)!
Last night over 110 million Americans tuned into CBS to see the big game and the $166,666 a second advertisements ($5 million for 30 second advert). It was the most expensive Super Bowl ever, the question is who won?
Well the Broncos won the game but the winning brand is up for debate. There were few attempts to hijack the adverts, with all the big brands playing it safe (almost boringly so). Much of what we saw appeared to be a rehash on the standard advert style (American comedy or heart-warming feature), followed up with online engagement competitions. Doritos encouraged viewers to vote for their favourite advert and Esurance got people to retweet their tweets for a chance to win $250,000. Yes, they got good engagement rates and the adverts sparked conversation but it felt lifeless and repetitive. Doritos Crash the Super Bowl has run for the last 10 years.
You don’t win a Super Bowl by playing the same plays each year, you have to adapt and brands needed to be more adventurous with their adverts and social strategies. I enjoyed the new and innovative ways of using social media like the filters for Snapchat and use of Twitter Moments but advertisers took no chances. Give us something different from the norm, like when Newcastle Brown Ale didn’t let small budgets prevent them from enjoying the Super Bowl limelight. Additionally I’d like to see the ability for more interaction between the TV and social media. For example, a brand could use social media to help create the advert as it plays, with viewers tweeting left or right, up or down (similar to the TwitchPlayPokemon game). IBM made an app for Wimbledon where viewers could try their hand at being a part of the Data Capture Team with their chance to top a leader board. Honda produced The Other Side which gave audiences the option to flick between two story lines. This is the sort of technology I’d expect brands to utilise during Super Bowl adverts to create something unique and truly special.
With Super Bowl 50 being coined “one of the most boring in history” and the best piece of content coming organically from the winning quarterback you have to ask yourself what should be done differently. In four words, remember to be unique. If you do the same as everyone else, all the ad spend in the world won’t make you stand out.
Written by Guy Peters, Ogilvy Fellow @front13r