The big day is finally upon us. Everything comes down to Sunday, and all the players involved know it. All the sweat, the late nights, and the weeks of hard work will be played out in one momentous night…of brand marketing.
Obviously, we are not talking about the game being played at MetLife stadium. We’re talking about Sunday’s other big event: the “Brand Bowl.” This is about the competition that will be played out by brand marketers and social media managers.
Brands have been preparing for the Super Bowl for months, and for good reason. This year’s Super Bowl is expected to break TV viewership records. The opportunity to market a brand to such a large captive audience is an increasingly rare event in today’s fractured media market, and broadcasters know this, with 30-second TV ad slots going for $4 million.
Along with traditional broadcast advertising, a huge competition will play out in the digital arena. It is estimated that 61% of Super Bowl viewers will share commercials with their networks via social media channels, and 62% will re-watch ads after the game is over. Millions of impressions are at stake, and this weekend, brand managers will pull out all the stops to drive their content and seize upon Super Bowl momentum.
While it is impossible to foresee the outcome of the football game, we can make predictions about what will take place in the world of brand marketing. Here are four things we expect to see from brands on Super Bowl Sunday:
Cold Weather Content
The weather for Super Bowl Sunday is a topic of daily news reports. Super Bowl VI, played on Jan. 16, 1972, holds the record for coldest Super Bowl with a kickoff temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature on Sunday for Super Bowl XLVIII is projected to peak at around 40 degrees, but it could easily be record setting by the time of kickoff. Our long-term models forecast a night of brands posting content focused on the cold and ideas for how to stay warm. While we predict owned social media will be the main front, don’t be surprised to see cold weather-themed content broadcast on-air and on mobile devices.
Lots of Dogs
We are only one month into 2014 and things are already going to the dogs. Banking on how much Americans love their dogs, at least two brands (Audi and Anheuser-Busch) created TV ads featuring canines as the main stars. Considering that each of those ads cost millions of dollars, expect those brands to make big pushes to support them on Sunday. Not to be left out of the dog craze, CarMax has released an all-dog version of the ad it will air during the Super Bowl.
Sometimes referred to as “moment marketing,” newsjacking is the process by which ideas or brands inject themselves into a breaking news stories with the goal of generating attention. Newsjacking is not a new concept, but it reached primetime status during last year’s Super Bowl. The infamous mid-game blackout marked a landmark moment for newsjacking as multiple brands scored big by taking advantage of the moment. While we shouldn’t expect another blackout, we do anticipate multiple brands will attempt to recreate the successes of last year.
The Return of Apple
Thirty years ago, Apple released its first Macintosh computer and aired perhaps the most iconic commercial in Super Bowl history. In the years since, Apple has aired just two Super Bowl ads. However, this Sunday will likely mark the Super Bowl return of one of the most famous brands in the world. Apple is a notoriously secretive company, and as such, no one knows definitively if Apple will air an ad. Apple has struggled to define itself in the post-Jobs era, and has lost ground to competitors, both in sales and advertising. A strong Super Bowl showing for its brand could help to shore up the company’s campaigns in 2014. When combined with a teasing tweet from the co-creator of Apple’s iconic ad, there are strong reasons to expect something big from Apple.
Tell us – what are your predictions for this year’s Brand Bowl?