New Marketing Strategy for Super Bowl Advertisers

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Companies used to be super tight-lipped about their Super Bowl ads, but that’s changing, says U-M Ross marketing lecturer Tim O’Day.

Arnold's Super Bowl Ad
Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in a Super Bowl ad for Bud Light this year

Social media has shifted the rules, and more advertisers run previews of ads on television (think Bud Light’s spots during the conference championship games) and teasers on YouTube. When done right, ad previews don’t appear to ruin the surprise factor and, in fact, can enhance a campaign, says O’Day, former executive vice president account director at ad agency Leo Burnett.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: O’Day is available to speak about advertising strategy for Super Bowl spots. If interested, leave a comment below or call 734-763-2419.

“Companies want to get more buzz and more pass-around,” he says. “Pass-around is measured by retweets, Facebook shares, and companies love that. There also will be a raft of articles writing about the ads before the game kicks off. You run a preview of the ad the right way, and you get additional pass-around. It’s the perfect storm in a positive way for advertisers.”

The key to getting that pass-around before and after the game? Go long.

“This only works if it’s identified as a Super Bowl ad,” says O’Day. “It doesn’t make any sense to run an ad during the Super Bowl, which is $4 million for 30 seconds now, and not have it be special. If you want to play in the big game, you have to play by their rules. You’ll be going up against the slick Budweiser spots and Chrysler’s emotionally provocative ads. You have to have a big idea and execute that idea across a bunch of media.”

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