With just a few days to go before Sunday's much anticipated Super Bowl, it's not just football fans that are eagerly waiting for the game. Marketers are also keen to watch the new advertisements that will take center-stage during the annual event.According to Martin Hayward, director of marketing at Mirror Image Internet, social media, fast and flexible reactions, and geo-location will play a big part in this year's Super Bowl ads. And organizations will be leveraging the trend to access content over multiple channels to interact with customers over their preferred medium. "Today's customer is more interested in engaging with a brand on multiple channels instead of being the target of a traditional broadcast advertisement," Hayward notes. "Customers that realize evolving consumer preferences will have the competitive advantage."
With organizations spending big money for a 30-second spot during the game, you'd expect them to try and leave a lasting impression and attempt to keep the conversation going beyond the primetime advertisement. However, last year close to a quarter of brands did not use URLs, hashtags, or QR codes to drive viewers to their digital channel. "This year, expect that number to be much lower," Hayward notes.
Hayward believes that more brands will be driving their audience to social channels to continue the conversation and extend the impact of their advertisement. Last year only four ads used Twitter hashtags, and instantly saw it being used by customers to Tweet about the commercial, creating social buzz and brand awareness. "Audi's #SoLongVampires and Bud Light's #MAKEITPLATINUM hashtags not only drove Twitter conversation, but influenced related Internet searches," Hayward notes. He says that brands are leveraging traditional advertising to drive users to their mobile apps and social networks. "By placing calls to action on the big screen, you can drive consumer engagement on the second screen."
In order to be as relevant as possible, we might also see commercials that leverage plays which just happened, something that occurred in last year's Olympic Games when AT&T included Ryan Lochte's gold-winning swim in one of its commercials just after the race ended. "Reacting quickly to plays in the games can have a significant positive impact on an advertisement," Hayward notes. "Targeting a user on a timely topic before competing brands have a chance to react is critical." He adds that campaigns need to be flexible to have more impact, and doing that requires technology that allows for rapid changes and dynamic optimization.
With mobile users accessing live content on their devices more than ever before, brands are leveraging location-based campaigns. Hayward says that at a minimum marketers need to serve commercials that are relevant to consumers' geographies with location-based offers. "With advancements in technology and capabilities, it's easier to drive more traffic to websites through mobile devices of the desktop. Brands can now more effectively target users and serve up content to any device," Hayward adds.