Madonna's Super Bowl half-time show won't be the only attention grabber this Sunday. Mobile ads and location-based services will play an important role in this year's Super Bowl as companies include them in their marketing strategy in a bid to reach more customers and transform a moving image into a sale.While television advertising will remain crucial to the sporting event, marketers will also be investing heavily in mobile ads, says Martin Hayward, director of marketing at Mirror Image Internet. Hayward expects more companies to entice customers watching the football game on TV to go online, either to watch a second part of an advert or enter a contest. For example, Papa John's has already started encouraging customers to log onto its website to take part in a coin toss contest for the chance to win a pizza and a bottle of soda.
Hayward thinks that although websites will play a part in Super Bowl ads, mobile technology is expected to be the real star of the show. Mobile devices are ideally positioned to allow marketers to engage with the millions of people who will be watching the Super Bowl, especially those who aren't close to their computer but still want to learn more about a particular product or participate in a promotion or contest.
Additionally, technology advances mean that companies can target customers with ads that are compatible with their device. "Mobile devices have different screen sizes, different orientations, some have a touchscreen, and can support different types of video," says Hayward. "Marketers will have to be aware of these differences and deliver the correct ads to these devices so that they can display properly."
Hayward says iPhones are expected to be the most popular devices with marketers. Research carried out by MediaMind last year showed that Apple's touchscreen device enjoys the highest ad click-through rates, followed by Android phones, and marketers will be keeping this in mind when dividing their ad spend.
Additionally, Hayward believes marketers will be making use of location-based services to reach out to their customers and prospects with geographically-relevant information. For example, a fast food chain can send a customer a coupon that can be redeemed at the nearest outlet to his location at that particular moment.
The continuous growth of social media will also impact ads delivered via mobile during Sunday's Super Bowl. Hayward says customers are likely to share links on Facebook, Twitter, and other channels, extending the reach of ads to their communities.