While television advertising still reigns supreme on Super Bowl Sunday, brands today no longer need a few million dollars for a 30-second spot to get in on all the action. This year, we are seeing large brands with robust budgets looking to expand their TV reach—and small- to mid-sized brands with more modest budgets—turn to social media as an attractive platform to increase engagement with consumers and connect with fans during the big game.
From fun and light-hearted posts, to sweepstakes and interactive filters, here are the Top Four Social Plays from some of our favorite Brands on social. And what was the one common thread? Getting fans involved on the fun is key.
- Wholly Guacamole
Leaning on user-generated content is a social media trend popping up more and more. This Super Bowl Sunday, Wholly Guacamole ran a “Free Guacamole for a Year” sweepstakes that got fans involved in the fun, in an entirely interactive way. Rather than relying on email sign-ups or social media likes and comments for entries, Wholly Guacamole employed humor to shine light on the injuries sustained from cutting avocados. Fans were asked “’if they were hand model material” and tasked with uploading a video of their hand dipping a chip into the pre-made guac. With a prize pack of free product, a $4,000 “pampering” session and the chance to be the next great hand model, Wholly Guacamole shows that brands do not need to spend a hefty price tag on a Super Bowl spot to make an impact with their audience.
Starring some of your favorite A-list celebrities, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Shaggy, Cheetos went all out on their advertising campaign this year. The beloved snack brand extended the reach of their television investment before, during and after the game, while increasing the overall fan engagement. Cheetos took their star-studded television campaign one step further by incorporating elements from the “It Wasn’t Me” spot on their social media accounts – Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. The cheesy snack food leaned on fan engagement by giving away a year’s worth of swag on Twitter by “catching Turnover Tweets” from their mascot, encouraging fans to sing along with their favorite rendition of “It Wasn’t Me” on TikTok, and opening up a QR Code to snag a free bag on SnapChat after the spot aired. Cheetos isn’t afraid to have fun and they connect with consumers from as many social media platforms and touchpoints as possible.
- Mountain Dew
People love giveaways, sweepstakes and free swag—and social is the perfect launching point for these promotions. With a mega sweepstakes as the brand’s key social strategy, Mountain Dew leveraged their TV commercial celebrity, John Cena, to promote their $1 million Twitter sweepstakes. Fans use social media as a place to further engage with the content that they’re viewing in real-time, and Mountain Dew understands and expands upon this perfectly. By asking followers to guess the number of bottles featured in their commercial, Mountain Dew captured fans attention on all screens, big and small, for a chance to win the super sweet grand prize. And don’t think this was a one-time promotion during the game: Mountain Dew teased the sweepstakes on social the entire week leading up to the Super Bowl with their bright, cheerful bottles – and John Cena himself.
Even the social media platforms are getting in on the Super Bowl Sunday fun. Using their own platform as the focal point of their Super Bowl advertising strategy, Facebook launched an interactive and engaging promotional campaign this year. Dropping customized filters and stickers in partnership with the NFL to help bridge the gap between limited gatherings this year, Facebook encouraged fans to become their favorite football players, sporting the same gear as the players themselves. Through Facebook Messenger and video chat, fans could transform their appearance with sunglasses, helmets, and other fun effects to add joy to socially distanced watch parties. Facebook shows how brands can adapt to the changing landscapes and unique circumstances surrounding the game and create a new virtual way for users to connect on an intimate level, while still engaging with the content they love.
There’s no need for brands to wait until next year’s Super Bowl to try out any of these trends. Light-hearted, humorous social campaigns that engage with users directly, encourage user-generated content and make the consumer the “star” will remain relevant all year long. With everything going on in the world, social provides consumers an escape to just have a little bit of fun.