This Sunday, hordes of football fans will gather together to eat nachos and watch the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium (whose stadium is just in spitting distance from our Bay Area headquarters!)
However, for many people, football is not the reason to watch the game. That’s right, we’re talking about the ads. And this year, all eyes watching ads are not going to be on the TV screen.
Mobile, which has now eclipsed TV to be the medium where we spend the most amount of time per day (and that’s just in apps), is poised to break out of its “second-screen” status this Sunday at the Super Bowl.
Here’s what we’re expecting to see this weekend in the world of mobile advertising.
A virtual explosion of Super Bowl mobile content
Digital companies like Science-Inc, owners of the hugely popular Wishbone app, are already planning to serve up all sorts of Super Bowl goodness, such as team and player comparisons, polls about common American Big Game traditions, and side-by-side favorite recipes for those hosting parties. Their editorial teams have been preparing for this moment for months, and on Sunday they will unleash the content in the app with partners like People Magazine and adolescent fan magazine Tiger Beat in tow.
With all eyes on social, that’s where the brands will be
While some of this Super Bowl content will be delivered on news and entertainment sites and apps, the vast majority will be generated by users. Big brands will be taking advantage of the large volumes of viewers who are more interested in what their friends are s(pr)aying about the game than what the sportscasters are commenting about on TV. We’re going to see plenty of native ad campaigns in mobile news feeds, and likely short-form, like the Carl’s Jr campaign that did so well last year.
Watch, rinse and repeat – Super Bowl ads on mobile
See an ad you like during the game? If you want to watch it again, you’ll have to Shazam it or find it online. This year we’ll be seeing plenty of brands proactively gaining incremental reach on their airing by distributing the same spot via mobile, perhaps with some exclusive, made-for-mobile variations or more immersive, interactive content that TV cannot support. There are no end cards or interactive calls to action on a TV commercial, but brands can integrate special features incorporated with their mobile video campaigns to drive actual customer conversions and measurable results.
Forget football, let’s play mobile games
Last year, three mobile games – Game of War, Heroes Charge and Clash of Clans – ran major national television spots as well as complementary in-app video campaigns during the Super Bowl. Will there be more this year? Or will gaming companies stick with mobile-only CPI campaigns during the Bowl expecting to see an increase in gaming interest over the weekend, as consumers turn to their phones for entertainment ? We’ll see how many developers invest in the Big Game in a big way.
A warm welcome to beacons
Levi’s Stadium has been lauded as a next-generation stadium, with 40-gigabit wifi and 2,000 beacons installed throughout. There’s even a dedicated app that serves as the entry point for everything you when you’re there. What does this mean for advertisers? Well, the obvious use case is for advertisers to serve personalized ads to fans based on their location and timing, such as a coupon for $1 off a Coors Light at the concession stand during halftime. However, there’s a far greater opportunity for marketers to use beacon data over the long term to understand the habits and behavior of those fans and build long-term relationships with them – one that goes further and deeper than just a single beer. (More on this to come!)
The conversation picks up on (mobile) Monday
Although we tend to focus on game-time as the window for conversation about brands, studies have shown that most of the online conversation about the game — and, more importantly, about the ads, comes the day after the game.
This year, brands that have foreseen that organic increase of conversation and engagement will be running their campaigns in full strength on Monday, and well into the week after. Millennials might be more “in the moment,” but we can see that Gen X and Baby Boomers — also valuable demographics — have a longer Super Bowl “brand hangover” that lasts through the entire week.
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