What Promotions in Super Bowl XLVIII Can Teach Us About Brand Awareness

What does a brand do when they throw millions of dollars toward a 30-second ad on the biggest sporting event of the year?

Whatever they want.

When it comes to advertising during the Super Bowl, there appears to be a fine line of success between staying relevant to your brand and just coming up with something that might be relevant with Super Bowl fans.

That fine line was missed by many throughout Super Bowl XLVIII.

It’s certainly not easy to come up with a 30-second commercial that can effortlessly define a brand and also achieve an entertainment value equal to the other heavy-hitters during breaks in the game. Clearly, viewers noticed that struggle among numerous car advertisements. Viewers were left confused by the advertisements in general and failed to remember which brand appeared on which ad in the first place — a result that was all too common among many of the promotional players.

One way of advertising that brands have found successful is reaching their Twitter followers through timely and relevant tweets. This method worked perfectly for Oreo during the power outage of Super Bowl XLVII. A perfect example of another brand embracing the power of Twitter in this year’s game is Arby’s. While the Denver offense struggled with a scoreless first half, the final pick thrown by Manning was immediately followed by a pitch for fresh turnovers.

There were also many other relevant and highly entertaining tweets from other brands, including one from an unlikely source: Hillary Clinton.

So what is a brand to do when faced with such a significant, yet brief, moment of fame?

Know your goal

Why did your brand just pay millions to be featured in the Super Bowl (or a little less for some other event)? What does your brand expect in return for such a significant price? Set goals and be sure to stick to them through the planning process.

Know your brand

Stay true to your brand’s core values and represent it to your audience in a relevant way. Whether or not your commercial was good won’t matter if no one remembers who made the commercial. Research your target personas and their interests very carefully before building on an idea.

Know the context

If you’re planning on a promotion during the Super Bowl, remember that people are at parties, laughing, eating, drinking and even betting. This is not a situation for a sappy, forgettable ad. Get excited with the fans and celebrate with them! Again, research is key for reaching your goals.

Know when to stop

If your brand doesn’t know when to stop trying to be relevant on Twitter, it will soon become a target for attack. Understand that Twitter is a place for humans to interact with each other, and know when to bow out gracefully. Take Oreo’s tweet, for instance.

Whether your brand is planning on buying an ad for the Super Bowl or the local paper, be sure to set the right goals before planning the campaign. Doing so could mean the difference between making a profit or suffering the losses.