Embracing the omnichannel experience—before, during and after the Big Game

The Big Game isn’t just for sports fans. 

Every year, football and non-football enthusiasts alike come together during the Super Bowl to enjoy delicious appetizers, watch their favorite musical acts perform and to see all the ads. It’s one of the few times where some are more excited for the commercials than the actual show itself.  

And brands really go all-out. Since Apple’s memorable ad in 1984, brands have created campaigns that have had cultural impacts for literal decades. But we’ve seen a shift in more recent years: Instead of relying solely on flashy television spots the day of, more brands are embracing a full omnichannel experience that expands the life of their ad.  

The new norm is for brands to have a holistic campaign that encompasses many different platforms. This includes social,  websites and landing pages, and even microsites dedicated to the campaign concept. They all hinge on the lift created by an exciting, catchy or even heartfelt ad that drives high engagement before, during and after the game. 

Last year, for instance, brands heavily leaned into social media lift. According to MediaOcean, brands saw bigger percentage wins based on what they did on social after their ad played. Some of the biggest winners were Vroom, a car financing company, that saw a 92,432% lift and Pringles, which saw a 66,060% lift through social.  

And it’s more than just social. Higher engagement filters into other channels, too. Website traffic, email open rates and most importantly, conversion, increase with Super Bowl commercial engagement.  

A winning line-up 

Take one of the Big Games’s most iconic brands: Budweiser. AB InBev, the maker of Budweiser and Bud Light, has always made a splash. Who can forget the infamous “Wassup” commercial 

Traditionally one of the biggest buyers of advertising during the Super Bowl, AB InBev has transformed their typical process from just creating memorable spots to making those commercials drive results across channels. 

“It’s not a commercial anymore, it’s a campaign and a strong digital plan is just as important as the Super Bowl ad-buy itself,” AB InBev spokesman Nick Kelly told Marketing Drive. “Our pre-Super Bowl commercial release strategy has become extremely valuable for gaining momentum heading into Sunday.”  

Releasing “teasers” on social media drives increased excitement over the full ad. One of our favorites for this year is Hellmann’s “Mayo Tackles Food Waste,” which features former Patriots linebacker Jarod Mayo tackling people who are about to waste food, including SNL comedian Pete Davidson who admits he is “very hittable.”  

It also features a great social message about being mindful of food waste. To compliment this campaign, Hellmann’s developed a free app that helps consumers track their food waste, as well as raise funds for Feeding America (which Hellmann’s is also donating to). 

Drafting new recruits 

What’s more interesting is the new opportunities this type of strategy invites. Imagine if you have an incredible spot that is wildly popular, and then build different avenues for consumers to engage. Whether it’s an app that people can log in to or social campaigns that build increased awareness, these tactics are rich with opportunities to know your customer better and to reach them in the right ways. 

And, as more people are turning to streaming the game live on their devices or on CTV, brands have a unique opportunity to create more effective marketing than ever before.  

An unlikely brand doing this in 2022 is Avocados from Mexico, which normally delivers an exciting, though almost always unexpected, spot. Guacamole is one of the quintessential football party dips (I will not hear arguments otherwise) and Avocados from Mexico knows it. That’s why they’re pivoting their digital strategy to not only include a spot for brand awareness, but also to help them build their CRM.  

Avocados from Mexico is launching a digital experience that drives engagement in the form of recipes, sweepstakes and social media challenges. In an interview with AdAge, Ivonne Kinser, Avocados from Mexico Vice President of Marketing and Innovation, said they’re using strategy to develop robust consumer profiles.  

Dubbed “brandformance,” this engagement will be fueled by first-party data via shoppable content. Sending consumers the right messaging to make a purchase can be a huge boon—especially for niche brands looking to make a mark in front of millions of eyeballs.  

The real champ? First-party data 

This shift is not only driven by a focus on omnichannel campaigns across the board, but it’s also just smarter marketing. It allows brands to quantify the investment (and it’s a big one) of the Super Bowl spot, and drive engagement in digital channels that leads to first-party data collection and CRM building.   

A standalone ad can create a moment in pop culture, but valuable data lasts forever—especially as we head toward third-party cookie deprecation in 2023. At Epsilon, we use our CORE ID to give brands insights into 200+ million consumers (more than double the viewership of the Big Game), all in a privacy-safe, secure framework. If you’re a brand looking to use accurate, stable and scalable identity resolution across platforms and devices, we are the partner for you.  

Brands who use solid identity partners become the real winners here: For them and the consumer both.