Offsides! How Marketers Extended Their Big Game Plays into New Fields

Another Super Bowl has come and gone, so comes the time to discuss the major wins of the night.  

One of the most notable trends this year was the play of extending the life of campaign ads beyond the TV screen. As marketers, we can all learn a few things from this strategy. If your marketing team is planning a big campaign, your corporate board is probably looking for a big return. Lucky for you, we’re going to give you a play by play of some of the most notable strategies of the night so you can bring this playbook to your boss. (Not sorry about the football references).   

NFL, “Next 100” 

For some brands, their key tactic is to produce an ad solely for the exposure and leave it at that. The NFL did not fall into this trap and produced one of the most well executed ads of the night. They extended their story of the centennial anniversary kick off film, “The 100-Year Game,” into this year’s “Next 100.” 

The NFL not only keep in-line with their robust story arc, but brought their ad into the actual stadium. As the film ended, the hero of the ad rushed out of the tunnel and onto the actual field, making film content experiential. 

Key Takeaway:

Aim higher than just producing content for the purpose of producing content. Think holistically when your strategizing a marketing campaign, tell a story

Cheetos, “Can’t Touch This” 

We can all take a few pointers from Cheetos and their latest marketing campaign. At the beginning of this month, we all heard the news that the official name for Cheeto dust is “Cheetle.”  

Of course, the Internet being the Internet, Cheetle instantly became a trending topic. Then suddenly, we’re all craving Cheetos.  

Several weeks later @ChesterCheetah teases us with a prologue to MC Hammer’s hit, “Can’t Touch This.” 

The intrigue! The drama! 😱

Then come game day, BOOM, we’re hit with a new product. Cheetos Popcorn. And yes, there is a Flamin’ Hot version.  

Key Takeaway:

The long game is worth it. An effective marketing campaign utilizes an omni-channel approach to target messaging to their main user base – and if you can get them hyped, they’ll start talking about you!  

Sprint, “@dudewithsign”  

In today’s environment, it’s much easier to create some buzz and get your brand out there without dropping millions on a 30 second ad slot. Similarly to Cheetos, Sprint teased us on social media with a mysterious cardboard sign. 

Sprint sent out popular Internet influencer @dudewithsign to the game. He posted himself in various locations surrounding the Hard Rock Stadium, including outside of a Verizon activation. 

They were able to produce a lot of content in real-time, which was an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the traffic surrounding the Super Bowl.  

Key Takeaway:

If you don’t have the budget for a billboard, try sending one of your C-suite out with a cardboard sign as an economical alternative to OOH Advertising. Just kidding. On a more serious note, take advantage of internet culture and make it work for you. Influencer marketing is nothing new, but you can find a creative way to use meme culture as a means to promote yourself and cut through the noise.

Squarespace, “Winona in Winona”  

Some have criticized this ad for being a bit confusing, which as a standalone clip, we can’t argue with. The brilliance of this ad however, is that it calls on viewers to visit Winona’s website (built on Squarespace of course). 

Welcome to Winona Homepage via Squarespace

Once you land on Winona’s site, you’re given options to watch the extended versions of the commercial or to view the rest of her site. 

What we loved about this marketing tactic, is that visitors are given the opportunity to actually experience Squarespace and see for themselves the value of their product. 

Key Takeaway:

Creating a whole ecosystem around your campaign is an effective way to create interest and get real people to interact with your product. The goal here is to show off your value add and convince users that they need you.  

Overall, a major win for marketers, the NFL, and audiences was the increased level of diversity and inclusion within the Super Bowl this year. (Looking at you PopTarts and Sabra.)

Plus, the vibrancy of the Pepsi Half Time show with legends Shakira and Jennifer Lopez was a beautiful representation of the growing Latinx population in the US.

via giphy

All in all, what we can all learn from this year is that as marketers, we have to start thinking holistically if we want to create effective campaign strategies.

If you’re looking to elevate your brand and grow your business, contact JUST. We use media, creative, and data to your advantage.  

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