Let’s be honest, there are already more Super Bowl 50 hot-takes floating around the web than should rightfully exist in the world. But that won’t stop the DEVIANTs from sharing our two-cents.
We all watched the game, we all saw the ads, we were all engrossed in our phones. Here is what had us thinking…
How did the social platforms compete for your attention? What brands got the most out of their Super Bowl spend and who would have been better off sticking to the bench this year?
LESSON #1: Do something worth tweeting about
Sometimes, the best way to rise above the Super Bowl noise is to simply do something unexpected and let the masses share your story.
- Doritos used skywriters prior to the game to draw mysterious triangles in the sky in the San Francisco area.
- Esurance (like last year) turned to a Twitter sweepstakes, using the promise of money to ensure they had the most brand mentions of the night.
- ShockTop used their newly unveiled talking-orange-slice mascot (along with comedian TJ Miller) to critique the biggest brand commercials, MST3k style, in a five minute video released after the game. A perfectly buzzfeed-article-worthy approach.
- On the flipside, if a golden opportunity presents itself, you have far less time than you think to engage. Learn from Red Lobster’s mistake: A bad tweet in the moment is better than a good tweet the next day.
LESSON #2: Use all the tools in your tool belt
Amazon gave a master class in how to spread your story across multiple platforms to create a true omni-channel experience.
When you decide to hire a cast of a-list celebrities to help hawk your new bluetooth enabled personal assistant during multiple commercials, you had better have a plan to give your story legs after the 30-seconds are over.
- They teased the ads in the days leading up to the game with short clips tailored for social
- They were one of the featured sponsors of Snapchat’s #SB50 Live Story
- The next day, they even had a sponsored Twitter Moment showing how Alec Baldwin was “recovering” from his big night
- Hidden LOLs: As soon as the ad aired, Amazon Echo owners turned to their device to try to recreate what they had just seen on tv. The resulting easter eggs are a brilliant way to add a layer of surprise and delight to your fans experience
LESSON #3: A lot can be learned from how the platforms approached game-day
First: What is really considered LIVE on Super Bowl Sunday?
All the major social platforms have now launched some sort of real-time(ish) collective stream meant to share an experience, as it happens. Snapchat has Live Stories, Twitter has Moments. But, who is the most real-time and who is just putting lipstick on a pig?
If you were following along on social here are the delays you saw:
- Periscope < 30 second delay
- Snapchat Live Story 5 minute delay
- Twitter Moments 10 minute delay
- Facebook’s Sports Stadium 15 minute delay (due to technical problems)
- Instagram Nothing until the following day
How the Platforms Approached the Day
FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM
Facebook used the Super Bowl as the first major test of it’s new collective viewing experience geared toward sporting events, called “Sports Stadium”.
While the feature was touted highly by FB before kickoff, people seemed unimpressed at its actual utility.
Instagram had little specific content geared toward the game but the app’s Explore page was quickly filled with reactions and memes based on organic conversation surrounding the game. The platform’s actual “recap” of the game didn’t come until far after the final whistle.
The Super Bowl is like Twitter’s Christmas. It is arguably the biggest day of the year for second-screen conversation and a day unlike any other on the platform.
- Marvel used Twitter’s Conversation Video Ads to let fan publicly throw their support behind #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan. The resulting deluge of tweets were hard to miss by anyone scrolling their feeds during the game
- T-Mobile created a handle (@CarrierLawgic) to support their crowd-pleasing ad featuring everyone’s favorite Canadian, Drake
- Two brands sponsored Branded Moments: Pepsi and Amazon
- Twitter had a whole slew of custom emojis added to the growing list of their sponsored emojis. The emoji’s million dollar price tag may scare away the majority of brands, but, if there’s ever a day to splurge, Super Bowl Sunday is it. The NFL, Budweiser, and Marvel went big with multiple emojis while Pepsi and Verizon stuck to just one
- Periscope was filled with streams live from the game, including content from the NFL and both the Bronco and Panther’s team accounts
- The platform’s Live Story shared the game from the eyes of players, coaches and fans alike. It was easily the most intimate feeling experience across any of the platforms
- Real-time filters showed the real-time score while sponsored lenses from Gatorade let fans share their best “WE JUST WON OMG” reactions
- Taco bell used what they deem a “Live Story hack” to get their content in front of many more eyeballs by enlisting Snapchat specific influencers to hype their secretive TV spot prior to air
- FOX also debuted a sponsored lens urging fans to share a selfie. A smart tactic, but the resulting user generated content was far less public than Marvel’s competing Twitter campaign
- The official SB50 Live Story included ads from Marriott Hotels and of course, Amazon
LESSON #4: Sometimes your report needs a “miscellaneous” section at the end 😉
- This year’s trend to jump the shark? Brands tweeting at other brands, looking for a fight. It was fun to watch community managers from around the country try to fit their brand guidelines into competitor’s hashtags
— Doritos (@Doritos) February 7, 2016
- Apple CEO Tim Cook posted a horrendously blurry photo from the game and immediately regretted it
- Quicken apparently forgot the financial crisis was a thing and scared people with the idea of babies getting mortgages
— Caroline (@Carolulu88) February 8, 2016
Overall, the game was good, the ads were meh, but overall brands seem to be getting the hang of using social content as an intricate part of their Super Bowl strategy, not just a sloppy afterthought.
As gimmicks like social media war-rooms fall out of fashion, winning the Super Bowl (as a brand) will have more to do with your content’s thoughtfulness than it’s ability to kind-of-sort-of tap into a trending conversation.
Until next year, cheers!