The #brandbowl

The Super Bowl. The one day of the year we don’t set our DVRs. Instead of fast-forwarding through the commercials, we’re glued to the TV to capture every second. We pay a lot of attention to the major players on the big screen, but now so much of Super Bowl engagement is occurring on much smaller screens: laptops, tablets and smartphones, where people are active across their social platforms.

These three brands won at social around the big game:

HostGator

GoDaddy released their Super Bowl ad in the morning on January 27th, featuring a lost puppy who finds his way home to realize he’s being sold online. Animal rights activists took to Facebook and Twitter to complain. Most puppy mill dogs are sold online. The ad was intended to mock the Budweiser #bestbuds ad, but had a very different effect. Due to the negative backlash, GoDaddy pulled the ad by 6:30pm ET the same day. HostGator, a GoDaddy competitor, immediately created and sponsored a “Puppy Love” Tweet and coupon code announcing they would be donating a portion of their profits to a local Austin Animal Rights organization. If any animal lover was considering a web-hosting provider, HostGator won their business. This is an example of smart real-time social marketing done right.

HostGator Tweet

 

Monster

Monster brilliantly used a Twitter photo size feature to create a post that went live right after the Super Bowl. The Tweet read “Congratulations Seattle from Monster.com! #biggame” and the photo also featured a congratulations message in the image. If you click to view the full-sized image, you see a Monster search for a Social Media Manager position. This was smart for a few reasons. First, it makes fun of brands who have famously messed up on social media. Second, it immediately catches your attention (everybody watching on TV or on social would know the Patriots won the game. Third, they were able to prepare ahead of time by likely having two versions approved and ready to go. Lastly, it has a direct connection to their service (while many Super Bowl commercials are memorable, consumers don’t connect the brand or product affiliated with the ads).

brandbowl featured image

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McDonald’s

While the McDonald’s Super Bowl spot received mixed reviews, the brand recovered and won on social. McDonald’s Tweeted a giveaway tied to every product advertised during the Big Game. This was easy for brands who released Super Bowl commercials ahead of time, but more difficult for brands who didn’t, and involved a large real-time social media effort from the McDonald’s team. People entered by simply Re-Tweeting the McDonald’s tweet, generating engagement awareness for the program. Giveaways ranged from a $1,000 Victoria’s Secret gift card to designer sandals and a pedi tied to the infamous Jublia toenail fungus ad. The giveaways allowed McDonald’s to surprise their fans and engage real-time throughout the entire game.

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Mara Greenwald

For digital strategy success, Mara clearly has all the right ingredients: one part smart thinking, one part spot-on intuition, and a just splash of her generational experience of being a Millennial. It’s a good mix, especially since she works as a Digital Strategist for TPN, where she gets results for clients of all kinds: Increase Facebook engagement for a baked-goods company while organic reach is on the decline? Check. Generate social buzz about a product launch in the beauty blogosphere? Check. When she isn’t measuring social engagement or searching trending hash-tags, you might find her updating her blog, which features all kinds of DIY projects, home décor and design inspirations. Offline, and after work, you might catch her at the ice rink, coaching a girls’ hockey team.

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