With the Super Bowl coming up in less than two weeks, brands are continuing in their quest to draw in attention from the millions of people who will tune in to watch the big game. Super Bowl commercials have always been both exciting for brands and their audience. However, with changing media and increased use on social platforms, traditional advertising is becoming a thing of the past. Brands are now evolving to include viewers in the Super Bowl commercial experience and on social media, allowing users to be involved in the process instead of just watching the final product.
Live Action Social Campaigns
Last year, 108.4 million people watched the Super Bowl and we saw an increase in both innovative viral campaigns and quick-witted social media involvement. The amount of viewers that tune into this event is so high, that brands who successfully engage in viral campaigns will be talked about for months and even years following the event. One example of this success came to us last year from Oreo with a type of live action social campaigning. How could anyone forget their use of the Super Bowl power outage to promote their brand? They simply tweeted “Power out? No problem” with the following image.
The tweet was short, simple but extremely effective. We can no doubt expect more brands to be following suit this year and have social media strategists on hand to live-tweet and look for opportunities at another stroke of genius.
User Involved Campaigns
Last year, we also saw almost every major brand using new techniques to develop consumer interest before their commercials even aired. Budweiser, Audi, Doritos and, of course, Coca Cola and Pepsi were some of the brands that took to social media and viral campaigning to generate user involvement. Doritos held a contest allowing viewers to create the Doritos Super Bowl ad and was so successful that they are recreating the contest again this year. In 2013, Hyundai spent $120,000 to be the promoted trend on Twitter for only one day, Pizza Hut held a video contest and Audi and Coca Cola let people select the endings to their commercials.
These wildly successful campaigns all tell the same story: involve your audience, and think outside the box. This year, the trend continues as brands encourage users to tweet and comment for alternate commercial endings and user-generated content.
What Does This Mean For Your Brand?
Although you may not be able to create a campaign on the same scale as the Super Bowl ads, there is still a lot to be learned from these big brands. There are no longer any “rules” for what brands can do to promote themselves. While a big budget commercial featuring some popular celebrities would cut it in the past, we’re now seeing that viewers are asking for variety. The most successful viral campaigns involve quick thinking social media tactics, a focus user-generated content and awesome prizes (in this case, the prize being creating or starring in a Super bowl ad, among others).
You can use commercials or other advertising to generate buzz around your brand, but without any interest in the audience or social media presence, this type of traditional advertising is bound to be less successful. Remember to focus on staying fresh, catering to your users and thinking outside the box, and your campaigns will no doubt lead to success.