This past week, AdAge touched on some key aspects of successful SuperBowl advertisers, specifically, entering the ring two weeks before the actual game and the multi-million dollar ad buy with a clear, focused, and measurable strategy that culminated with the in-game exposure.

The breakout star of 2014’s bowl ads was Budweiser’s viral Puppy Love, which in any other context is just another 60 second spot from a talented creative group. Other prominent spots discussed include Doritos, who have become infamous in their “pre-game” strategies and Esurance who is quoted at delivering a “trick play” in which they showed up after the game but still had all the components of a strong, mindful strategy for using the vehemently watched media event. It’s not just about having the flashiest ad the day of, it’s about engaging with customers and showing off who you are.

What to Learn from this Article

1) AdAge casts a vision for the value of planning. I know you’re shaking your head, planning is a given – isn’t it?

  • Turns out it might not be as inherent as one might think. AdAge reports that those brands who had a solid, well-constructed pre-game strategy experienced mammoth lifts in digital currency, compared to those that failed on this front, and it was fundamental in making the $4.5 million + investment in the SuperBowl look a lot more favourable in discussions around ROI.

2) Their conviction that digital activity is a “meaningful measurement” for success – acting as a scoreboard for advertisers to evaluate and develop. In the case of Superbowl ads, and TV ads in general, it is increasingly important they earn digital engagement—online views, social chatter, earned media and so on. It takes planning to ensure you are worth talking about.

  • Attesting to this is Budweiser, who enjoyed 54 million online views and over 2.6 million social interactions, compared to other brands who lacked a visible plan who attained a paltry six figure count and four figures in terms of views and interactions.

Know What You Stand For

Cult holds to six principles as the core building blocks of creating a cult brand; AdAge’s reiteration of the importance of pre-game planning aligns across all six to be sure, but in this instance the second resonates most deeply – have a purpose. Whether you agree with their purpose or not, the greatest, most love brands we know today, know who they are and what they mean to consumers. In this way, it doesn’t matter if you “give away the secret” of your ad, if you know what you want to say to customers, showing them beforehand isn’t going to harm you.

Plan, decide, and show it off.

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