Cross-Platform Marketing Plays at the Super Bowl
Every February, Americans gather around the warm glow of their liquid crystal displays, buffalo chicken dip in hand, and watch the world’s biggest stage for over-the-air commercial programming broken up by the occasional football play. The Super Bowl is well-known as the premiere place to debut a new TV spot or launch a new campaign – but as air time remains relevantly constant, which of course results in ad time costing more than ever, connecting these celebrity-filled commercials to other platforms is not only a great way to demonstrate ad effectiveness, it allows for consumers to engage in new ways; a touchdown for marketers looking to track behavior.
Avocados From Mexico
Everyone loves avocados, right? Avocado toast, the A in a BALT sandwich, guacamole, etcetera! You can’t go wrong. In 2014, Avocadoes from Mexico launched with their first of many Big Game ad campaigns. Fast forward to 2022 and every household in America could probably tell you they have seen at least one Avocadoes of Mexico advertisement. Another fun fact, avocado consumption in the US hit an all-time high. Coincidence? Unlikely. With ad placements that have become a staple during the Big Game, Avocadoes from Mexico has cemented themselves as a must-see advertiser during the Big Game and the brand continues to drive towards new and innovative ways to stay top of mind for audiences.
The advertising strategy for Avocados from Mexico has developed into a fully integrated approach, coupling their now famous branding with new technologies to grow not only awareness, but purchase consideration as well. Avocados from Mexico digital strategy utilizes a multi-channel approach with dynamic social media ads featuring giveaways and video, hashtag campaigns, Twitter sweepstakes, Google ads, and a website dedicated to audience engagement and discovery.
The Avocados from Mexico website is colorful, fun, functional and continues to evolve year over year. Leading up to the Big Game in 2022 the site features an interactive “House of Goodness” hosted by former quarterback Drew Brees alongside a number of interactive experiences including a selfie with Brees, ecommerce capabilities, and recipe downloads. But AFM didn’t stick to strictly digital placements for their ad plan. With the placement of QR codes in brick-and-mortar locations where products are sold and the launch of a pop-up shop in New York City, the brand is not limiting itself to a digital-only strategy.
As brands seek to take advantage of the reach and cost efficiencies that digital platforms offer, they must also consider emerging trends with social media platforms and capabilities. The interactive opportunities with Brees and the AFM House of Guac speaks to the ongoing need for a multi-channel approach coupled with emerging trends surrounding virtual reality and the idea of an elevated user experience.
Click HERE to check out their ad from the big game.
Arguably the most confusing ad on the 2022 Super Bowl broadcast, Coinbase decided against using a Matt Damon or Larry David and instead put their entire production budget into a…QR code. Not merely a QR code, a color-changing QR code bouncing around the screen for 60 seconds, reminiscent of a VCR screensaver from the turn of the millennium. Parties across America were transformed into school rooms, watching this simple graphic not quite hit perfectly in the corner until the very end of the spot (possibly the most clever and efficient way to keep people engaged for the entire commercial). Layered onto this was also the mystery of who this commercial was for. There was no clever logo integration on the code itself until a brief graphic at the end revealed the corporate culprit for this hypnotic floating square.
Skipping over the “if you would have told me in 2019 we’d be talking about a QR code on a Super Bowl commercial in 2022” conversation, this was an incredibly simple but effective way to get every viewer to whip out their cell phone and hit the code just right (gamification?). For better or for worse, Americans have been trained to use QR codes since March of 2020 on restaurant menus, Snapchat profiles, and airplanes.
It remains to be seen if this tactic proves successful as Coinbase diverted what could have been a production budget to a sweepstakes campaign for this spot (their app did crash following the debut of the ad; that’s at least a badge of success). This should remind marketers that Occam’s razor also applies to advertising. Effective doesn’t have to be complicated. Distilling your ad to its most important elements and getting the creative out of the way can be a powerful tactic to motivate cross-platform and cross-device behavior.
Bud Light has a long and successful history of promoting their brand alongside the Super Bowl. In addition to the iconic Super Bowl commercials such as “Last Year’s Lemons” (2021) and “Secret Fridge” (2006), Bud Light also implements A-list celebrities such as Post Malone and Cedric the Entertainer into their advertisements. This year, the beer brand featured two primetime spots. The first featured the beloved Guy Fieri introducing a new seltzer flavor, and the other promoting their first zero carbohydrate beer. These commercials frequently land in top 10 compilations each year, however the buzz doesn’t stop there.
With each spot comes a very expansive social media push. Bud Light does a great job of capturing the early excitement of fans, releasing their Super Bowl commercials weeks in advance. Guy Fieri fans are in luck as the Mayor of Flavortown himself was featured in one of the primetime spots (titled “Land of Loud Flavors”) used to introduce the brand-new Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda.
On top of the viral video, followers were also given the chance to have their names on TV in the actual commercial during the big game. By using the hashtags #LandOfLoudFlavors and #Sweepstakes, fans quickly responded in hopes to be featured in the most watched national sporting event of the year. Sweepstakes have always been a great way for consumers to interact with brands via social media, however this one is ingenious and successfully brought attention to the Bud Light brand and to the event itself.
Accompanying “Land of Loud Flavors”, the beer brand is also promoting a commercial and sweepstakes for Bud Light NEXT, their first beer with zero carbs. The spot itself titled “Zero in the Way of Possibility” focuses on building a better future and looking past the present.
This tribute to innovation is continued throughout their unique approach on social media. Bud Light released a collection of 100 Diamond edition “Bud Light N3XT” NFTs to promote the new drink. An NFT (non-fungible token) is a one-of-a-kind digital asset that is purchased and owned through a public blockchain like Bitcoin or Ethereum. It’s an extremely trendy way to own a piece of a brand or artist. Buying one of the NFTs will also give consumers access to vote on Bud Light NEXT merchandise and have access to brand events. This social media strategy is a trendy and innovative way to expand and draw excitement towards the Bud Light brand.
“This Super Bowl, we celebrate a historic moment in Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch’s history: the introduction of Bud Light NEXT, our first-ever zero carb beer,” said Andy Goeler, Vice President of Marketing, Bud Light. “Ten years in the making, Bud Light NEXT is a symbol of our continued commitment to innovation. Now, on advertising’s biggest stage, we’ll pay tribute to those who are pushing boundaries and redefining the world around us every day.”