The Super Bowl has always fascinated me. Beyond that I’m a super fan of the yearly pigskin brawl. Every year it gets bigger and bigger and more bowlicious! In case your marketing handbook does not include that term, it means: voluptuous ‘non-skimpy’ fully effective marketing that makes you and your clients happy.

So why all the excitement about a bunch of guys wearing spandex pants, pads in funny places and banging their helmets into each other for 3 hours?

Because the Super Bowl is:

  • Entertaining. Consumers really like that.
  • An opportunity to eat and drink with friends and strangers. Consumers need that.
  • About seeing the TV commercials, the often surprising, shocking, funny and stupid exhibits of the best broadcast creativity and strategy on the planet. Consumers love that.And it’s about incredible marketing in it’s greatest form. Since starting in 1967 as a sporting event, The Super Bowl  has grown into an international brand  leveraging every single nano cell into a revenue generating machine on steroids, promoting to a multitude of buying markets, a plethora of offerings, from tickets to merchandise, to pizza and tattoos. Every year, I get called by the media to add commentary to the news coverage on the Super Bowl TV commercials. Tomorrow, I’m doing a segment for FOX. Fresh off my 2011 research journey as I prepare for the show, I’d like share some insight I garnered.I’ve viewed about 70% of the spots and the remaining ones, I’ve seen the tease spots and read about the strategy and supporting programs.Top trends going strong.
  • Humor
  • Animals
  • Environment, social responsibility
  • User-generated, crowd-sourced creativity from pre game contests
  • Digital tie ins, phone apps, email widgets, social media
  • Advocacy and cause ads
  • Sexy still sells
  • And so do interesting women

    My 5 Super Bowlicious marketing practices that can apply to any business.
    1) One message will not resonate with all of your market segments.
    I hated the Groupon ad. It grossed me out and I thought the casting was bizarre. But I don’t like coupons, so I’m not suppose to like the commercial.2) There is value in respecting political correctness and being market sensitive.
    If your company was just bailed out by the government, you don’t want to be spending $3 million on ads at the Super Bowl. Be astute to current events and think before you market.

    3) All media is not created equal every year.
    Pepsi is bowing out this year. Why? Because their strategic focus is not on reaching 100 million people, but on providing grants through their  “Pepsi Refresh” initiative. Pepsi plans to give away $20 million in grant money to fund projects in six categories: health, arts and culture, food and shelter, the planet, neighborhoods and education. People can go to the Pepsi website — which can also be accessed through Facebook and Twitter — to both submit ideas and vote on others they find appealing. Additionally, Pappa Johns opted out too and instead of buying time, they will give free pizza to all if the game goes into overtime.

    4) Rejection can be a good thing.
    Every year Go Daddy generates millions of dollars in buzz and PR, by touting the spots that were “too something” for G rated TV audiences. People always want what they can’t have, so posts them on the web, which still attracts gazillions of eyes balls and attention to the brand and offering.

    5) Social media is real fuel for brands.
    Mercedes, a first timer advertising at the Super Bowl, launched a very cool social media Tweet Race.  Super Bowl advertisers are investing heavily in online campaigns leading up to the Super Bowl to reach even more consumers than they would with the Super Bowl TV ad alone.  Now Mercedes is taking the plunge. Benz Tweet Race is using both Facebook and Twitter as platform. Mercedes calls the online competition the world’s first Twitter-fueled race. You can win an all-new 2012 C-Class Coupe car when you drum up the most followers for your entry in the Mercedes Benz Tweet Race. Grant it this, a multimillion dollar campaign with many elements from a charity component, to a celebrity involvement angle to a mucho media investment, but the simple idea of awarding fans for helping spread the love on your brand is something that is brilliant and can drive home business benefits.

    If you are in Tampa the show airs at 12:30 on Fox. If not, I’ll post the segment in couple days after it runs.

    Check back after the game, I’ll post my favorites and what I’m still wondering about.

    Cupcake image came from The Cupcake Swirl.

    For more on Superbowl ads, check out: Insights to “the Swarm” and how you can create the buzz.