From Richard Sherman’s infamous post-game rant to the teenager who was fired for wearing a Denver Broncos jersey to work, there’s no lack of buzz building around this year’s Super Bowl. Nearly 110 million people tuned in to last year’s game, and the numbers are expected to be just as healthy this year.
But how many are tuning in for the game and how many care only about the commercials?
Super Bowl ads have become as American as baseball and apple pie. Just as the athletes have been training around the clock, ad agencies have been preparing for Feb. 2 for months. Brands will fork over $4 million for a single 30-second spot, and one in five of the commercials result in either a sale or intent to purchase, according to an Advertising Age report.
It’s not surprising, then, that some Super Bowl commercials are more memorable than blockbuster films. Here are four of the most successful game day commercials with lessons to strengthen your content marketing strategy year-round.
Reebok Pushes Viewers Online
Perhaps one of the best commercials ever created for the Super Bowl is Reebok’s “Terry Tate, Office Linebacker.” The 60-second spot is literally laugh out loud funny, but the best aspect of it is the call to action to visit the company’s site for more office shenanigans.
Instead of just creating one commercial to air on game day and hoping viewers remembered the brand the next time they needed athletic apparel, Reebok created several and posted them on its website. This is a great way to capitalize on a truly memorable campaign without spending an arm and a leg.
Doritos Uses Contest to Encourage Engagement
On a slightly stranger note, Doritos’ claim to fame during the 2013 game was about a man, a goat and an obsession with the cheesy chips. Unlike the other commercials that ran on the big day, an independent filmmaker created this commercial.
The company held a “Crash the Super Bowl” contest and encouraged chip-lovers around the country to create and send in commercials featuring Doritos, promising the top two submissions would get airtime. The top five submissions will also win prizes ranging from $25,000 to $1 million. The company is sponsoring the same competition for the 2014 game.
Using a contest is one of the easiest ways to get your followers engaged with your brand, and it can produce some truly unique ideas. Try to plan a different contest each month to maximize engagement.
Volkswagen Raises Awareness via Social Media
Volkswagen took a slightly different approach in 2011 when it leaked its Super Bowl ad early. Three days before the game, it already had 1.5 million views on YouTube. It now has more than 59 million.
The car company took the same approach and has already released its 2014 commercial. Some question why a company would want to ruin the surprise by releasing it early, but Volkswagen knows what it’s doing. By building social media buzz, people were talking about the Volkswagen commercial days before it ran (and we’re still referencing it years later.)
When you’re creating a campaign, always think of what you can do to maximize awareness on social media.
Budweiser Uses (Mostly) Non-Branded Content to Basically Run the World
It’s been scientifically proven that every person in the world loves Budweiser’s “Brotherhood” commercial from the 2013 Super Bowl (ok, not really, but it’s probably true.) The ad agency behind the commercial won Ad Meter’s Super Bowl Commercial of the Year, and they’re back to prove they can do it again.
Honestly, these commercials have so many great aspects. Both tell a powerful narrative (without saying a word), the “Brotherhood” commercial promoted social media engagement by creating a contest using a custom hashtag and both keep branding to a minimum, choosing to represent the company with its Clydesdales rather than a tall cold one.
According to the Bikini Marketing Principle, 75 percent of the content you publish should be non-branded. This makes you more appealing to consumers because they’re able to get a better idea of who you are as a company than if you were to constantly shove your products down their throats.