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Robertson: Learning from championship advertisers

A lot of folks are still talking about Super Bowl LI, from the final score to memorable advertising and marketing moments. As a small business owner, you may think none of this football buzz applies to you.

Think again. Businesses big and small can learn a lot from SBLI’s successes and failures. You don’t need a multi-million dollar ad budget or expensive PR firm on retainer in order to benefit from this annual mega sports event.

The SBLI game on Sunday, Feb. 5, had a lot of activity. Whether it was through TV, print or social media, fans found themselves drawn into SBLI’S frenzy, from community events to the big game itself. Locally, several area museums and historic sites offered free admission that same day as part of Super Museum Sunday. In addition to Super Museum Sunday, other special events and PR efforts included churches and charitable groups holding “Souper Bowl” fundraisers, while chain restaurants such as Chili’s hosted blood drives.

As for SBLI itself, just look at the numbers to see the impact. Where else can advertisers and marketers know that they can reach more than 100 million viewers during one event?

According to Anheuser Busch’s Budweiser, a major advertiser, 82 percent of Super Bowl viewers use mobile and social throughout the game, while 80 percent of ad-related searches during the game are done via mobile. Compare that data to ADWEEK’s recent survey of 1,000 consumers aged 18-54 who planned to watch SBLI. That survey found that 49 percent of respondents were likely to view Facebook while watching the game, compared to 26 percent on Instagram, 24 percent on Snapchat, 22 percent on Twitter, and 18 percent on YouTube.

Look at your own office and household to see how these survey numbers measure up as well as what SBLI ads and PR efforts you remember. Your favorites may or may not be in the mainstream’s top 10, whether it’s John Malkovich’s attempts to claim his domain name in a hilarious Squarespace ad, the Mercedes “Easy Rider” spot, or the Sprint man faking his own death.

There are also more inspirational takes such as Honda’s encouraging people to chase their dreams and AB’s ”Born the Hard Way” spot. The latter introduced the AB brand’s new marketing messaging for 2017 and beyond, but it didn’t come cheap. ADWEEK projected that AB’s TV ad cost roughly two to three million dollars to produce and then FOX charged a record five million-plus dollars for a 30-second spot.

Although some were quick in attempting to politicize AB’s ad, the creative concept actually began nearly a year ago. AB’s creative agency, Anomaly, explained that rather than getting political, they sought to “stay true to the history of the original, self-made man … making it the hard way.” Consequently, the “Born the Hard Way” piece showed Adolphus Busch’s journey to America and meeting Eberhard Anheuser. A collaborative effort including more than TV, the ad utilized Twitter and Facebook in addition to digital media.

Area businesses can utilize the same tactics used in these Super Bowl success stories by tying your local promotions into the big game or a similar event. And, since statistics show that social and digital advertising are also large draws, include these outlets in your marketing effort.

This column was compiled by Karen Geriner Robertson, director of public relations and client development at RobMark-Web-Advertising-PR. She can be reached at karen@robmark.com or (912) 921-1040.

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