by: Felicia

Using Social Media To Advertise During The Super Bowl (Without Spending Millions Of Dollars On Advertising)

When it comes to major events that capture the attention of people across the globe, the Super Bowl is one constant we can look forward to each and every year.

For example Super Bowl 51 drew 111.9 million viewers and had 65 million people talking about it on Facebook; and during that time almost 85 percent of Super Bowl TV viewers were on their mobile phones while watching the game. The numbers speak for themselves, and in the world we live in people cannot put their phones down, even during a big game!  So yes, that is a ton of people are on their phones during the Super Bowl.

Millions of eyes tune in for the annual event, but let’s not forget those people (like me) who are there “only watching for the commercials.” With one of the highest annual viewership in the world, Super Bowl ads have increased in price over the years to a whopping 5 million per spot.

Obviously the marketing activity that is going to happen this weekend is a huge opportunity for consumer engagement, and also a very competitive time to get your message showcased above all others.  And while some brands pay millions for 30-second ad spots on broadcast TV, the best way to reach the consumers you crave just may be free via social media.

Here are some ways you can be effective (and spend less money) than a 30-second, 5 million dollar commercial!

1. Tweet About The Super Bowl 

Use the trending hashtag, most likely #SuperBowlLII or #superbowl52 this year.   People will definitely be on their phones ALL night checking for new Memes, commentary on the game, and anything they might have missed on their bathroom break.

For example, back in 2014 Esurance sought to “build brand recognition and trust” by way of a multipronged effort that included the first spot to air after the Super Bowl. The strategy saved the brand 30 percent, or $1.5 million—a fact that Esurance cheekily touted, passing those savings onto one lucky viewer via a sweepstakes on Twitter. The hashtag #EsuranceSave30 trended within an hour of the ad and got 5.3 million mentions and 2.6 billion social impressions globally.

Another hugely popular Twitter campaigns was when DiGiorno live tweeted WWE’s Monday Night Raw… every Monday for weeks. It hit a seriously large audience, as millions of people are at home Monday night watching TV (near and far- you’d be surprised how many international people stay up to watch), tweeting their commentary about matches happened on Raw. Mind you, Raw is #1 trending almost every Monday night, for the exception of the NFL season and maybe a few random events. DiGiorno had a brilliant marketing tactic, hit tons of people’s eyes, and was extremely sharable. Who thought frozen pizza and wrestling could not only be relatable but funny as well?


— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) June 3, 2014 “>

Take a look here for more of DiGiorno’s tweets about Monday Night Raw.

2. Run A Topical Promotion

Funniest meme, best tweet or Super Bowl picture, etc. People love free stuff and when you have the opportunity to get people engaging with you and your brand, there’s a huge opportunity to build a relationship. The internet LIVES for likes, so even something as simple as liking their entry can start building that online relationship with your audience.

3. Run An Ad On Facebook/Instagram/Twitter

You can’t stress enough how easy it is to set up an ad, how cheap it is to run it, and how effective it is when targeted correctly. Make sure to use the geographical tags and target your message to the right audience. More eyes are going to be online Super Bowl Sunday, you should take full advantage of it with a witty campaign!

4. Go To The Events And Live Post About It 

Is your company based near Minneapolis, Minnesota? Go to the real world local events during the week leading up! There are tons of press conferences and party’s to go to leading up to the big game, so if you’re local, getting your brand in front of people’s eyes could be an extremely effective brand awareness campaign!

5. Pin Recipes

Score big on Pinterest this weekend with recipes. People are going to be looking for great recipes for their parties, and Pinterest will be a huge platform for delicious recipes, so get to pinning!

6. Pre-Game The Game

While it’s a good idea to be active during the actual broadcast, data shows that there’s a legitimate interest for advertising the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Articles pertaining to the teams or anything relevant to the upcoming game are perfect clickable and shareable content.

Need some inspiration? Consider some of the extremely successful Super Bowl campaigns over the years….

Budweiser- #Upforwhatever & #bestbuds

Doritos – #doritos & #crashthesuperbowl

Coca-Cola- #MakeitHappy

Snickers- #eatASnickers

Pepsi- #Pepsihalftime

Mountain Dew Kickstart- #puppymonkeybaby

For major events like this Sunday’s Super Bowl, you don’t have to dominate the conversation to come out as a winner, but you do need to take an active part in it. Utilize social media and interact with your consumers in an engaging way, and your brand will come out on top.