What Super Bowl Commercials Can Teach About Integrated Mobile Marketing

4 minute read
Marisa Peacock avatar

It’s the morning after. Regardless of who you were cheering for in last night’s Super Bowl or what you think about the commercials shown during the game, it’s clear that media is changing how advertisers are marketing and to whom they market. 

The Super Bowl of Integrated Marketing

Recent data coming across our Twitter feed indicated that of the ads shown last night, twenty-five didn’t link to a website, social network or hash tag. A few advertisers also experimented with other types of media engagement. One in particular, Go Daddy, engaged smartphone users by putting a Quick Response (QR) Code on its Super Bowl commercial. Once scanned, viewers received discounts for Go Daddy's cloud-based products and services.


Example of how Go Daddy presented a QR code during its Super Bowl commercials.

Is this the kind of advertising that is best reserved for an annual event like the Super Bowl or can we expect to see more of these types of integrated marketing campaigns on a more regular basis?

Managing Touchpoints and Transactions

We spoke with the folks at Hipcricket, a one-stop mobile marketing and advertising company, about the future of integrated marketing campaigns. Although we spoke before the game with Jeff Hasen, CMO of Hipcricket, we were debriefed on what to keep an eye out for and the lessons we might learn from its success and failures.

Admittedly, it’s much harder to market to specific demographics through television advertising for a big event like the Super Bowl. Integrated marketing is all about giving a consumer what they want on their terms. Providing or incorporating social media and other venues for online engagement into television commercials is one way to give consumers what they want, where they want it. (It’s also helpful that many commercials were released online well before the game began.) The Super Bowl, like other hyper-televised events, have many viewers watching from second screens, making it much more conceivable that they will visit a company’s website or social network in real time. 

Learning Opportunities

However, once you have successfully attracted a user to your website or social network, your work has just begun. It’s not enough to get them there -- you need to keep them coming back by offering information and incentives that are relevant. Yet, you’d be surprised how many companies miss this opportunity.

  • How many emails from location-based marketing sites do you receive with promotions that are irrelevant to your consumer interests?
  • How many companies fail to track the deals offered across media to better understand how users are accessing discounts?

Hasen cites campaigns by Arby’s, Macy’s and Ford that not only integrate marketing across traditional and social media, but have been able to successfully harness user's behaviors to improve engagement along the way.

  • During the 2010 Super Bowl, Denny’s offered an impressive discount for customers the Tuesday after the big game. Though they could say how many Grand Slam breakfasts they gave away, they didn’t necessarily know how to retain those customers for future marketing. Later that year, Arby’s asked viewers to text them to receive a free sandwich, which not only promoted a new product but allowed them to add users to their mobile marketing channel so they could follow up with more deals and information.
  • Macy's Backstage Pass is a new mobile initiative that utilizes QR codes and SMS within Macy's stores. Backstage Pass provides shoppers with essential tips, latest trends, advice and inspiration straight from their favorite style icons, all from their phone. Shoppers can scan QR codes or send a text to receive videos from celebrity designers and fashion experts giving backstage access into what inspires them.
  • Ford Motor Company and its franchised dealers announced FordDirect, a new mobile service that lets shoppers receive “prompt, targeted information” about vehicles by simply sending a text message from their mobile device. The service integrates with Ford brand print and television advertising to deliver information specific to the vehicles of interest to the customer.

Each of these campaigns integrates social media and mobile technologies to give consumers additional, convenient ways to engage with the brand, while providing companies with access to customer insights and contact information so as to customize future offers.

Big or Small: Integrated Marketing Lessons

Not a well-known brand? Not planning to advertise during the next Super Bowl? Don’t worry, even the smallest company can learn from these examples. The relationship between your brand and customer should be mutual. It’s not enough to offer incentives if they’re only beneficial for one of you. Make sure that whereever your users are, they are able to conveniently access information that’s relevant and useful. As well, it should be delivered in a way that can be effectively measured to ensure that as their behaviors and interests change, so can your product and marketing efforts.

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