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Super Bowl Preparation: How Brands Can Get In The Game

Super Bowl Preparation: How Brands Can Get In The Game

This coming Sunday - Feb. 7, 2016 - hundreds of millions of viewers will tune in to one of the biggest media events of the year - the Super Bowl. I say "media" event because this is more like an Oscar's than a sporting event. Whether you like football or not, whether you're a die-hard Broncos or Panther's fan, it really doesn't matter. The Super Bowl is just another reason people come together to have a good time. Yes, some care about the outcome of the game, but others - many, many others - care more about how brands capitalize on the craziness via commercial spots or social strategies. The Super Bowl poses a huge opportunity for brands both big and small to capture the attention of millions upon millions of potential customers/fans. According to Nielsen, last year more than 114.4 million viewers watched the game. While that is a huge number, with brands leaking their Super Bowl spots earlier each year via social channels and with many consumers cutting the cable cord and moving to digital streaming services and subscription-based mobile apps, the reach of your brand message is much greater than just the traditional viewership numbers Nielsen reports.

Nielsen Super Bowl Viewership Numbers

So, how can your brand prepare and get in the game without spending $5 million for a :30 sec. traditional TV spot?

  • Watch & Plot Your Plays. Take a look at the ads that will be run, the messages delivered, the hashtags used and how you can possibly play off of themes without straying too far from your core brand values. Get to work, here's a pretty robust list of Super Bowl 50 Commercial Spots.
  • Be Creative. We all know that the commercials or social campaigns that stand out are the ones that keep us talking for days, months, even years after they are executed. These campaigns are far from stale and boring, they are most often humorous, edgy and far from inside the box.
  • Be Timely & Seize The Moment. The brand that won Super Bowl 2013 when it came to real-time marketing and news hijacking was Oreo. Their creative/social strategy teams leveraged the  power outage to create and share content that still has people talking. A simple image with a simple message shared via Twitter saved the brand millions in ad spend and garnered reach that still continues to grow.  Now, maybe it's not a black out, but chances are something will occur during the big game that will get people talking...take note and play with ways you can get in on the news, the conversation. How Oreo Won Super Bowl 2013

So, after taking a peek at some of this year's Super Bowl ads and to help you get those creative juices flowing, I have put together some rough ideas...


This year, the Skittles team presents Steven Tyler with a portrait made from Skittles. Go grab some Skittles yourself. What can you make from Skittles? Your brand logo? A fight between a bronco and a panther? Can you do a time-lapse video that can be shared across social platforms of your creation from the first skittle to the last?


Going in a more corporate social responsibility angle, Colgate is running a native ad that talks to being water conscious. How can your brand share how #EveryDropCounts? How can your brand talk to the ways you are conserving, making positive changes in the world? What other hashtags can you uncover to show your commitment? #CreateChange #makeadifference? Take a look at some popular hashtags related to your mission, your brand.


One of my personal favorites is the Kia ad featuring Christopher Walken - dupped "The Walken Closet" - such a great title. How does your brand stand out? How do you #AddPizzazz? What makes your brand unique? Is your brand beige or a little on the funky side? have fun with this one. Maybe your CEO can dawn some sweet socks and share how your leadership #AddPizzazz. I really hope Stance capitalizes on this opportunity!

So start preparing if you  have not already. There are many ways your brand can get in the game without draining the bank. You can also take a look at this article for ambush ideas!