Another year, another win for the Patriots, am I right? Well regardless of who you were cheering for, last night there were a lot of winners. Of course, I am referring to the numerous brands who rolled out viral commercials, and social media campaigns to coincide with the most-watched sporting event of the year. We sifted through all the commercials and narrowed it down to our top 3 ads of the 2019 Super Bowl.
One of the most dominant brands come Super Bowl Season is always Pepsi, an official sponsor of the game. Pepsi decided to do something a little different this year. Hot off the heels of their Kendall Jenner gaffe of 2017, Pepsi decided to go in a different direction by poking fun of their competition with Coca Cola by producing a star-studded commercial that proclaims, “Pepsi is more than okay”.
By using self-deprecating humour, Pepsi looks self-aware and in on the joke, a stark contrast from the Kendall Jenner commercial. Not only does this endear the audience to the brand, it helps to draw comparisons from underdogs everywhere (even though Pepsi is not and has never been an underdog).
In addition to their commercial, Pepsi was mindful to create corresponding social media campaigns to complement their commercial. Across their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter channels, Pepsi utilized the hashtag #MoreThanOkay and leaned on their celebrity cameos to promote the commercial to those who may not have been watching the Super Bowl live. Their use of popular stars, Steve Carrell, Cardi B and Lil Jon also added to the buzz on social media. Cardi B (who has a following of 40+ Million) shared the video on her social, garnering over 4 million views! The power of social media influence.
Every year, there’s inevitably a brand partnership that makes absolutely no sense but is delightful all the same, and this year that prize goes to Bud Light and the cast of Game of Thrones. Bud Light’s commercial simultaneously promoted the beverage as well as the final season of Game of Thrones in a medieval-beer themed jousting competition featuring the character, “Bud Knight” whose turn at jousting ends in a loss.
The commercial opens with Bud Light’s knight taking part in a joust, before he’s confronted by the all to familiar Game of Thrones theme song as The Mountain comes out to take part in the event. The two duel, with the Bud Light knight taken off his horse and brutally murdered, before an infamous GOT dragon swoops in to light everyone on fire. For Game of Thones viewers like us here at MarketTap (is it April yet!?) this one was defeintely a winner.
In addition to the commercial, Bud Light and HBO both ran complementary social media campaigns to promote the surprising partnership, by using the hashtags #RememberBudKnight and #ForTheThrone.
In keeping with the self-deprecation theme of the evening, skincare company Olay also managed to have a laugh at itself with a commercial that more closely resembled a satirical slasher film.
I think by now, we all know the cheeky connection between lotion and serial killers (ahem, Silence of the Lambs) and this commercial leans on that moment in cinematic history heavily. Again, Olay used a hashtag, this one simpler than the others, #KillerSkin, was seen on all of Olay’s social platforms following the commercials’ debut.
They also shared teasers for their commercial across their social channels leading up to the game, generating buzz and curiously. Their commercial was uploaded on Youtube a few days before it aired on tv, and has already generated over 15 million views! Their use of 90's TV/Movie Star Sarah Michelle Geller - most likely for her appearance in the thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer - caused a nostalia amongst viewers (Cue Buffy The Vampire Slayer).
While they did promote their commercial on other platforms, Olay also partnered with several familiar faces from the NFL using their products on their Instagram page, a fantastic opportunity to reach a different demographic and also promote gender inclusivity.
While they didn't have a commercial that aired, Barstool Sports wins for best game time stunt. Founder Dave Portnoy, wearing a fake mustache and shades, was carried out of the game in handcuffs during the halftime show after getting banned last week after officials discovered him and an employee were carrying fake press passes. Barstool Sports went all out in using it, sharing the footage of Portnoy getting thrown out of the game with the hashtags #stoolpresidente and #FREEPORTNOY.
Wendy's does it again with the social media game on point. The brand has found them self consistenly in the news for their witty Twitter tweets. This event was no different, with the brand creating trending tweets.
First the brand poked fun at how seemingly boring the Super Bowl was. The fast food restaurant, known for its savage social media clapbacks, took to Twitter in the fourth quarter of the game (eventually won by the Patriots with a score of 13-3) with a devastating takedown of the night.
Another tweet had Game of Thrones account join in the conversation, although many speculated that the response was GOT poking fun at Burger King and siding with Wendy's ... what do you think?
What we can learn specifically from the brands mentioned above, is that if have a piece of content that you’re really proud of, it’s a good idea to blanket your social media with coverage specifically relating to that piece of content. Whether that be through leaning into a stereotype for comedic purposes, the use of clever hashtags, or an unexpected brand partnership, when you create an engaging piece of content, you want for as many people as possible to see it.
It's important to push content across multiple marketing channels to reach more people. Trying to promote a new product? Try creating buzz earlier on your social channels with teaser video clips or images to generate curiousity. Running a social campaign? Create a hashtag and encourage users to post content with the hashtag that you can feature on your channel - user generated content tends to perform best for brands online!
No matter how big or small your social media presence is, larger brands are an excellent place to look for inspiration. If you want to amplify your social presence with a social media strategy, consider giving MarketTap a call to get started!