The Super Bowl is Marketing at the highest level.
Over one hundred million people watched the Super Bowl game in 2014. But did they tune in for the game? Or just for the commercials?
The fact is, Super Bowl commercials have become a highlight of the big game. Every year there are more and more ads that are talked about for days, weeks, even months after.
Last year’s commercials were a feast of awesome creativity.
2015 Super Bowl Advertisers
Obviously producing and airing a TV ad during the Super Bowl is only for that rarified group of deep-pocketed companies that can afford the price tag. To give you an idea, a 30-second ad spot for the 2014 Super Bowl costs about $4 million dollars, and some coveted spots are selling for even more.
The soft TV ad market this year is extending even to Super Bowl XLIX, where NBC said in November ad sales were moving along slightly more slowly than in prior years. Among returning advertisers, Coca-Cola and GoDaddy are each running one commercial instead of the two they bought in 2014. Automakers, too, aren’t crowding the field as much as they have lately, without as many new models that the game is well-timed to promote.
But there will be about 15 new advertisers in the 2015 game, especially in digital commerce and technology.
Skittles will appear in a commercial during the Super Bowl this February for the first time, according to people familiar with the matter, but it isn’t clear what form the ad will take. Skittles was a big winner in last season’s Super Bowl even without an ad because Seattle Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch is a notorious fan, but there are no signs yet that he would star in the anticipated Super Bowl ad. Skittles began promoting its commercial in early January with a video showing former NFL great Kurt Warner already tailgating outside the stadium where the Super Bowl will be played.
Mercedes Benz’s Super Bowl ad will feature a redo of the big race, and they’ve released a series of teaser vids with sports pundits breaking down the showdown. Below, a Playboy Bunny explains the race to Jerry Rice.
The ad will run during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. If we were allowed to bet on the outcome of fictional sporting events in prewritten commercials, we’d bet on that hare — you think a car company is going to show an ad where a slower object wins? Nah, Gotta hype the importance of German engineering.
Companies that are likely to advertise during the big game include:
And speaking of integrated marketing, it has become a no-brainer for Super Bowl advertisers to use social media to complement their multi-million dollar national advertising investments. In fact, experts predict that 60 percent of Super Bowl viewers will be using some kind of wireless device during the game. Social networks are particularly popular in the coveted demographic of 18-36 year olds.
The statistics confirm the importance of global brands embracing the value of social media—but also highlight the need for smaller companies as well as B2Bs to integrate social strategies into their overall marketing mix. Why? Well, along with increased consumer use of social media, business users are more and more likely to turn to social media when it comes to their purchasing behaviors. And if you don’t have a presence in the online channels that your customers check out, they may very well turn to your competitors who are there.
Signs are supposed to draw attention to your business. That’s their job. But truly great signs can become just as iconic as the things they’re meant to identify and promote.
Take the world-famous Hollywood sign in Southern California, for example. Everyone knows what it looks like, even if you’ve never actually been to Hollywood.
But its purpose has changed over the years. It’s interesting to note that the city did not put up the Hollywood sign. In fact, a real-estate developer built it in 1923 as part of an outdoor ad campaign to promote his remote suburban subdivision, Hollywood. How about that? An early example of integrated marketing!
Make Your Sign a Landmark
The best signs get noticed even when people aren’t looking for them. Even if you don’t have the space for 45-foot tall letters, you can still make your signage a local landmark by taking some lessons from the Hollywood sign, as noted by Roy Williams in Entrepreneur.
Dare To Be Dramatic
Think larger than life, as in grossly oversized, three-dimensional or prominently placed. The Hollywood sign succeeds on each count. Having your message on the top of a mountain in the Hollywood Hills is definitely dramatic. But for your message to be effective, remember also to keep it brief. The Hollywood sign doesn’t try to say too much. (Think about it: It’s even been shortened!
Dare To Be DifferentBlending in with your surroundings is the surest route to failure with signage. The Hollywood sign stands out for a number of reasons.
• Color – Bright white letters provide a stark contrast against the brown and green hillside.
• Installation – Instead of resting atop a pole or billboard, the sign is comprised of individual letters that sit on the ground.
• Location – The Hollywood sign is all by itself without anything to distract from it.
Dare To Be Wrong
The sign’s letters appear to be placed unevenly, rising and falling with the terrain, which makes it far more memorable. (However, when viewed at eye level, the sign letters look more even.)
Even though your sign’s message and look should strive to stand out from the signage crowd, your sign still has the same job as its competitors: to get the attention of passersby and get them to remember your brand name.
January is a good time for reflection on the past year and making adjustments to your business strategies for the upcoming year. The following are four items for your consideration.
When you’re feeling stuck with your business and like you don’t know which way to turn to seek out new customers, look to partners. With each year I am in business, I believe more and more that partner relationships are a huge key in running a successful business. No matter how small in scale the partnership is, it can reap huge benefits for your (and their) business. Even if the two of you simply swap blog posts once a month, your businesses are introduced to entirely new audiences that you both might not have otherwise been introduced to were you not cross-blogging. Besides gaining a new blogging audience, you’re also gaining new, unique content for your blog that you don’t have to write!
2. Spend more time out on the floor.
Though I always practice an open-door policy welcoming any of my employees into my office whenever they need me (unless I’m in a meeting), I realize that there is a separation between us, simply because I’m not in the same physical room as most of them on a regular basis. Being in a different office, I miss out on the little day-to-day interactions and getting a first-hand look at how everyone interacts. So lately I’ve been working out on the floor for a good part of the day. I’ve also found that my employees will ask me questions, ask for my help or opinions more often when I sit out on the floor — which is something I enjoy. I definitely plan on making a habit of it in 2015.
3. Be adventurous with your marketing strategies.
With something as ever-changing as marketing, you have to have an adventurous attitude towards the whole thing. Since no one really knows the best formula (as it is constantly changing), you just have to keep trying different marketing strategies until something works for your business. Recently we’ve been experimenting more with things like paid Facebook advertising, billboard advertising, call tracking and trying different press release distribution options. We’re starting to figure out what really works for us in terms of getting clicks and request for quotes at the lowest possible cost. But I’ve realized that you have to experiment and throw some money around to find a good fit.
Remind, Renew, Restart
The goal of reactivation is simple–to remind dormant or inactive customers of why they once preferred you (value, price, service, selection); then persuade them, through targeted messaging and offers to rejoin the fold and buy from you again.
A proven way to restart the dialogue is through integrated marketing–reaching out through online and offline channels like these with a clear, consistent and unified appeal.
• Direct mail–make it a colorful postcard or simple, old-school sales letter; to increase reader interest, include a QR code, promo item and/or targeted “win-back” offer based on previous purchase or behavioral data. Remember to purge your list prior to the drop to save postage and minimize bounces.
• Text-based marketing–do you have dormant customers’ cell phone numbers on file? Consider an SMS or MMS campaign to support reactivation in other channels.
• eMail-still consumers’ preferred channel for receiving promotional messages.
Customers come and go, no matter what business you’re in. But if your timing is right and your message rings true, many will welcome you back, with open arms.