Honing Your Advertising Strategy for the Big Game – Score Big with Mobile


Adam MeshekowBy Adam Meshekow, Executive Vice President, SITO Mobile

In just a few days, the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will take the field for the 50th Super Bowl in NFL history. While there are some great storylines that will play out on the field – Peyton Manning retiring as a Super Bowl champion perhaps – for brands, the real battle takes place between the action.

Last year’s Super Bowl drew more than 114 million viewers – an enormous number but one that doesn’t even count larger viewing groups at private parties and bars. The opportunity for a brand to expose itself to an audience of that size comes but a couple of times a year, and of course, at a hefty price. The cost for a 30-second ad during this year’s Super Bowl is $5 million, up from the $4.5 million price tag from a year ago.


(Source: Twitter)

When considering audience size to cost, it’s not hard to argue the potential on your investment – 50,000 people buy your $100 item and you break even. Seems easy right? Not necessarily. What brands forget is that there is a lot going on during a Super Bowl that distracts viewers – bathroom breaks during timeouts, food runs, etc. – leaving ROI on your expensive TV commercial less of a virtual certainty.

So how can brands boost their chance for ROI while advertising during major events like the Super Bowl, the Olympics, or elections?

Command second screens. A recent study from the Consumer Technology Association reported that 50% of Americans utilize a second screen while watching TV, including an incredible 88% of Millennials. That means half of all TV users are consuming on an additional device along with the TV, and in most cases, this is a mobile phone or a tablet. As such, tremendous opportunity exists to capture consumer eyeballs during large events, whether you are paying big bucks for a TV commercial or not.

Whether you deliver mobile ads through apps, mobile sites, sponsored social media posts, or dedicated microsites in companion with your TV ad, a mobile presence is crucial during large events because of the shift in consumer attention from the big screen to the second screen. We now live in a multi-screen world where mobile browsing, taking pictures and videos, and social sharing have become part of normal TV viewing activity.

Target with location and data. One of the best resources marketers and advertisers have is data that they have collected on their consumers – demographics, location, purchase history, etc. This type of data can be used in multiple ways before, during, and after the game. Why is it valuable? Approximately 70% of consumers in a recent study said they would share their location if they believed they were getting something of value in return like a coupon or loyalty points.

Perhaps a large electronics retailer wants to offer a Super Bowl special on big screen TVs – they can geo-fence an area around store locations or use past purchase data from customers to serve mobile ads that feature the sale in the weeks leading up to the game. A soda company could target major media markets where NFL viewership is high, and serve location-based ads to those regions for various specials before the big game to drive sales.

These tactics can be used on a local level as well, where grocery stores can serve ads to consumers for sales on chips and dip, or local bars/restaurants offer in-app coupons for a free appetizer to those who watch the game at their establishment. Location and purchase data augment the widespread approach of a TV commercial because of the specificity and granularity of targeting abilities.

Continuing the conversation after the game. What happens after the big game or event is over? Or even once your 30 second commercial is done and there’s many more to follow that can render you forgotten? It’s crucial to continue your brands conversation not just in the immediate after the game, but in the days and weeks that follow.

Did a consumer interact with your soda ad through ESPN’s app during the game? Continue the conversation the next day with retargeted ads that appear in other sports related apps they may follow up on, or on social networks like Facebook where they’ll be talking about the game. You can segment your audience to make it more actionable – retargeting all consumers, consumers who viewed a certain product, consumers who added a product to their cart but didn’t buy, or only consumers who actually bought.

Many brands look at major TV opportunities to make a huge splash, with the hope that it will build instant brand affinity – but this doesn’t necessarily result in purchases. Utilizing these three mobile strategies in compliment to a TV spot during a major event will ensure you are touching consumers in the right ways, while driving ROI on your campaign and revenue for your business.

About the Author: Adam Meshekow is the Executive Vice President of Product and National Sales at SITO Mobile, where he is responsible for driving direct and channel sales
of the company’s mobile advertising and messaging technology to consumer- facing businesses, advertisers and brands along with new product innovation. 

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