The Super Bowl and Oscars have in common huge advertising potential, but digital video has introduced more cost-effective ways to advertise than buying a half-time commercial. Furthermore, digital and social platforms allow brands to extend the life and effectiveness of their ads with digital campaigns. This means any brand considering a Super Bowl (or Oscars) ad should calculate the cost of digital promotion in addition to the price of the television spot, and compare that to the cost of a digital-only campaign. L2 released this week an Insight Report on the 2016 Super Bowl. Here are a few takeaways – which could apply to The Oscars as well.


Focus on pregame. In short, those who lined up their ducks early won. This applies to both releasing the commercial before game-day on YouTube, and nabbing air time during the first half of the game. Brands that aired television ads during the first half saw on average 189% higher level of social interactions (i.e. YouTube views, Facebook views, shares, likes and comments) than those that did not.  Early spikes from Hyundai, Doritos and Mountain Dew saw the largest spikes with 4.3 million, 4.6 million and 4.3 million social interactions, respectively. Overall, the positive life in social campaigns dropped 26% over the course of the game with the exception of Amazon.


Think beyond YouTube and Twitter. In the past few years, YouTube and Twitter have been the focus of all digital Super Bowl-related campaigns. However, newer platforms like Instagram and Snapchat can offer a lot of value. This year, Snapchat was the latest frontier. In the week leading up to the game, Gatorade created a lens animating the tradition of pouring the beverage on the victor. And this feature wasn’t cheap – it cost $350,000 per day, nixing the notion that emerging platforms suit brands with tight budgets. Grubhub took a less likely route. It sent snaps containing food facts relevant to the Super Bowl.

Use the second screen strategically. L2’s study found mixed results for the second screen. Second screen ads drove up searches for a brand, but not views. For example, SquareSpace worked with comedic duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele to create comedic show “Real Talk” for the second screen. During observational periods throughout the game, only an estimated 10,000 people live streamed the video content. However, search volume for “SquareSpace”, “Key & Peele” and “Real Talk” all spiked just prior to kickoff on game day. “What is SquareSpace” was the most searched phrase during the study period, followed by “Key and Peele Real Talk.”  This indicated curiosity increased as a result of the program, even though views were minimal. Accordingly, the second screen may be of tremendous value to a lesser-known brand looking to build awareness but useless to a campaign with the objective of viewership.


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