In a decades-old tradition, The Superbowl is just as famous for its commercials as it is for the game itself. In fact, many viewers tune in to pay more attention to the ad campaigns than they do to see the teams battling on the field.
But one of the most interesting developments in the marketing industry is how smart advertisers are capitalizing on the power of social media to build anticipation before using the expensive Superbowl ad spot for their big reveal.
The conversations sparked online surrounding Superbowl ad campaigns are just as, if not more important than the reaction to the on-air ad itself. Using Tagger’s exclusive access to behind-the-scenes social data, here are a few campaigns that are building the most momentum leading up to the Big Game this Sunday.
Frito-Lay / Doritos : #CoolRanch
Doritos has long-been one of the brands to most effectively leverage their Superbowl spot on and off the screen. Last year they tapped Chance the Rapper and the Backstreet Boys for an uber-successful 30-second spot to debut a new product. This year, they’re ramping it up to promote a classic with a total of 3 teaser spots posted on Youtube over the course of just one week.
Looks like this year we’re headed to “Cool Ranch” courtesy of Western legend Sam Elliot, country singer Billy Rae Cyrus, and rapper Lil’ Nas X, whose Grammy-winning song “Old Town Road” inspired the spot.
While the campaign has a relatively low engagement rate on Twitter, the videos featuring Elliot and Lil’ Nas X have gone viral on YouTube.
Here they are by the numbers, as of press time:
- Engagement rate: .1%
- Impressions: 75,068.9
Doritos® | Bassquake Super Bowl Teaser feat. Lil Nas X
Proctor & Gamble / Olay : #MakeSpaceForWomen
One of the only brands so far to openly cater to the 45% of viewers who identify as women is beauty powerhouse, Olay. The brand, owned by parent company Proctor & Gamble, debuted its teaser ad and campaign landing site touting advancements for and by women in a variety of traditionally male-dominated industries.
The ad is created by women-owned agency Badger + Winters and features a star-studded, all-female cast including Katie Couric, Busy Philipps, Lilly Singh, Taraji P. Henson, and retired astronaut Nicole Stott.
In another twist of social media marketing brilliance, Olay has pledged that for every mention of their hashtag #makespaceforwomen on Twitter, a dollar will be donated to Girls Who Code, an organization providing opportunities and education to girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
Here are Olay’s re-tweet and behind-the-scenes numbers, as of press time:
- Engagement rate: 4.13%
- Impression: 15,053.7
- Re-tweets: 2.6K
Kraft Heinz / Planter’s Peanuts: #RIPeanut
One of the most buzzed-about spots this year is Kraft Heinz brand’s “leaked” ad for Planter’s Peanuts where, with more than a dash of dark humor, it’s revealed that Mr. Peanut, the longtime mascot of the brand, has died.
The video shows Mr. Peanut sacrificing himself to save others from a car crash, then exploding in flames. Viewers have been encouraged to tune in to watch the “funeral” of Mr. Peanut and the hashtag #RIPeanut went viral on Twitter soon after the video’s release.
However, in the wake of this Sunday’s helicopter crash that claimed the lives of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-yr old daughter Gianna, and 7 other victims, this went from one of the most buzzed-about ads to one that might leave a bad taste in viewers’ mouths.
From a marketing perspective, it will be interesting to see if re-tweets of the #RIPeanut hashtag drop off significantly following the crash.
The original tweet and video, seen below, has a massive engagement rate and 2.3+M views.
- Engagement rate: 15.6%
- Impression= 8,148.5
Moral of the story:
Looking back at the 2019 Superbowl ad numbers, and now seeing the explosive growth of online Superbowl ad views already in 2020, it’s clear the digital views and online social banter surrounding Superbowl spots before, during, and after the game have a massive impact on whether or not a campaign is successful.
The brands whose spots perform the best and have the highest ROI are by far and away those who invest in supplementing their Game Day ad buy with social media and influencer marketing campaigns.
Want weekly updates, news, and tips on influencer marketing delivered to your inbox every Tuesday? Sign up for our Tagger Tuesday newsletter!