As published in: The Brand Strategy Insider

The strategy behind advertising during the Super Bowl is flawed. There is literally no reason to pack consumer connectivity into a single day. Successful brands do it every day.

In our latest research fielded in January of this year, we are seeing more two-way connectivity with brands who work at it all year. When we asked “How have you connected with your favorite brand in the last 30 days?” we saw email at 20%. There’s always an argument for mass awareness – but our research also showed that any recommendations from friends to search were 2.5x more likely to influence adoption that TV, Facebook or You Tube ads combined. It’s getting personal folks.

Then we look at all of the contrived concepts around how to get consumers to connect on February 4th, it’s amazing the amount of effort that is so concentrated. Seriously, a $1.4 billion dollar day for NBC?

According to – it’s innovation, but it looks more like desperation and a stretch to get digital to support the buy.

  1. Mars made an ad for a single viewer and let that person do a Facebook live to stream his reaction during the game.
  2. Hyundai did real time updates.
  3. We now have a tactic called “transmedia storytelling.”

To really make an impact, marketers need to circle back to what and who matters. For six years, we asked consumers to tell us what qualities a brand must have to win their adoption. We started it in qualitative – with an empty white board. We then took their answers and pushed them out to 1,000 consumers each year. The order came back the same each year – but the intent is there:

  • High Quality
  • Would Recommend
  • Fits Their Personality
  • Socially Responsible
  • Shares Interests
  • Says Important Things

All of this is about them – it is not about the marketer. “Say important things – TO ME. Shares MY interests.

That’s the key – it’s about them. And getting there by trying to win an entertainment contest for one day doesn’t necessarily build anything. Clearly, not everyone can win the day.

The Drum recently quoted a statistic that less than 10% of consumers could remember a Super Bowl ad two weeks later.

So it makes sense to build a platform that can be articulated all year long. Why release a game or a contest during the Super Bowl? Why shout in a crowd? That’s exactly what Mercedes did by releasing their “win a car” game on Sunday. Keep your finger on the screen and qualify to win.

And the work it takes to “pre-hype” could be spread out all year as well.

The battleship is slowly turning in the C-suites. Now we have A/B ads featuring “real workers,” and content that is crowd sourced photos of consumers from Kraft.

The irony is that the big budget advertisers are dropping $5mm a spot to say, “Today it’s about you.”

The other 364 days are wide open for the rest of us.

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by Norty Cohen, CEO of Moosylvania and the author of The Participation Game.

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