It’s no secret that brands shell out the big bucks just to get an advertising spot during Super Bowl Sunday. Last year, a 30-second commercial cost $4.5 million and this year, it’s grown to a whopping $5 million.
While my favorite part of Super Bowl Sunday is the food (unashamed), many people get excited just to watch the ads. Forget football, this is where people go to watch advertising greatness. As a company, it would be silly not to put your best foot forward in front of the largest television audience of the year.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have $5 million in pocket change sitting around waiting to be spent on a Super Bowl ad. So what can we, the small businesses of America, learn from the advertising giants during Super Bowl Sunday? We’ve put together a list of the top 6 things your business can do while watching the biggest football game of the year (without costing you $5 million!)
Start Engaging a Few Days Before the Game
It’s important to build a social wave around the Super Bowl. If your company is going to be running a special, offering a deal, promoting a product, or even just talking about the Super Bowl, start engaging a few days beforehand. People know Super Bowl weekend is coming up, so it’s okay to start talking about it early.
Game On! Be an Active Participant in the Conversation
Pre-game coverage. The National Anthem. Kickoff. Touchdowns. Halftime. Crazy catches. Talk about all of these! This shows you’re engaged and interested in what’s going on. Did Beyonce, Coldplay, and Bruno Mars just have the best halftime show ever? Talk about it! Offer your opinion (but make sure it’s in line with company policy).
Hands down the best example of an active participant was Oreo in 2013 when the lights in the stadium went out. Within minutes of the lights going off, Oreo ran an ad on social media claiming “You can still dunk in the dark.” Oreo admitted later that they had a team of 12 waiting to respond to anything that happened during the game. Do that for your business!
Nobody wants to read stuffy, boring tweets during the Super Bowl. This is a fun day, focused around football, food, and friends. Make your messages light-hearted and engaging. Millions of people are watching this game, so talk with them like you would talk to your friends.
Remember: Social Messages are Free
Use the heck out of them! There’s no limit on how much you engage on social. Twitter is a great place to engage. Retweet, favorite, comment on anything that’s happening. If you’re going to use Twitter, however, make sure you’re posting in real time. Don’t be that guy that’s late to the Twitter party!
Stick to 1-2 messages on Facebook. You don’t want to oversaturate your audience. Show that you’re engaging, but don’t go overboard.
Create Generic Graphics Beforehand
Be prepared for gameday. If you’re going to be sharing graphics, prep beforehand. Create generic graphics that can easily be changed come game time. Put in the score after the first quarter. You don’t want to waste the whole first quarter making a graphic for something that has already lost social traction.
Run a contest for your followers (like the one to the left from East River Ferry)! Can someone correctly guess the final score? The score at halftime? How many touchdowns will Peyton Manning throw for? Give them something to be excited about (other than football!) Your messages will get a higher reach this way, and people will be engaged with your brand.
Super Bowl Sunday is the pinnacle of advertising. Brands are ALWAYS putting their best foot forward and are engaging in the conversation in real time. Make sure your company is a part of that conversation.