Most advertisers will pay more than $5 million to run a TV ad during Super Bowl LIII this February. It’s not uncommon for companies to invest billions in Super Bowl promotions in hopes of capturing the attention of America. If you don’t work for one of the companies that can afford to advertise during the big game, don’t worry. You can still use this event to get your name out there and boost your business.
Editor’s note: Prior to any sort of big game advertising, make sure you know the rules. For example, the words “Super Bowl,” the iconic NFL shield and NFL team names are trademarked and monitored. It’s probably in your best interest to avoid direct mentions of the “Super Bowl” when you’re selling a product or service. Instead, use synonyms like “the Big Game.”
5 ideas for Super Bowl promotions
Try these five tactics to use the Super Bowl to get in the conversation and grow your brand visibility.
Lead the social media discussion.
Jump on any media or memes that arise during the Super Bowl.
Cut through the noise with sponsored content.
Host a Super Bowl-themed event.
Offer promotions related to the game.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
1. Lead the social media discussion
While millions of people attend Super Bowl parties and visit their favorite bars to watch the game, there’s a bigger place where the community comes together to share their thoughts and opinions: social media.
Check out these numbers from 2017 that show the power the Super Bowl has to attract people:
- 64 million people posted 240 million interactions on Facebook during Super Bowl LI.
- More than 90 percent of these Facebook interactions took place on mobile devices.
- 27.6 million tweets were posted during Super Bowl LI using the hashtag #SB51.
Any time there was a break in the action (and often during the action) people were tweeting, commenting and replying.
The Super Bowl is a social event, whether you’re at a bar or watching at home by yourself.
If you’re trying to advertise during Super Bowl LIII on the cheap, start with social media marketing. Join the discussion early — days early — to build your following around the game. Then, be quick to offer comments and thoughts to fans during the game. Go where your audience is and join the discussion.
2. Jump on any media or memes that arise from the Super Bowl
The morning after the Super Bowl is just as important for marketers as advertising during the game. Brands want people talking about them at work, with friends and on morning talk radio. The Super Bowl also brings its own set of media and memes that keep people talking.
- Who could forget David Tyree’s Helmet Catch in the final two minutes of Super Bowl XLII?
- Or Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” ad posted within seconds of the power going out on Super Bowl XLVII?
- What about the Monkey Puppy Baby ad that Mountain Dew released in Super Bowl L?
People talk about those events for days, even years, after they happen. Your business can jump into the conversation and gain traction by talking about the Super Bowl.
When Oreo released its Dunk in the Dark ad, it was able to flip a design so quickly because it had 15 social media people on staff during the event. While you don’t need a team that big, make sure you come in Monday ready to jump into the discussion with creative posts and comments about the Super Bowl that are related to your brand.
3. Cut through the noise with sponsored content
Advertisers across America will try to promote their messages during Super Bowl LIII, making it harder for your brand to stand out. If you don’t have $5 million to spend, consider investing $500 or even $50 in paid ads and sponsored posts to get noticed.
If you advertise on social channels like Facebook or Twitter, you can narrow the scope of your reach to people in your area or people already talking about your products and services. This means you can reach a more engaged audience and pay less than you would if you sprayed your message across the web.
Remember, people turn to the Super Bowl because they want to be entertained.
Try to make your sponsored content unique, funny or interesting enough to stand out against the celebrity commentary and buzz around the big game.
4. Host a Super Bowl-themed event
If it makes sense for your business to be open during the Super Bowl, consider hosting an event. Millions of restaurants host watch parties and sell tickets for customers to get in.
Even if your business won’t be open during the big game, you can create events related to the teams and the Sunday night spectacular.
For example, you may have seen local animal-related businesses and nonprofits invite their residents to pick a winner. NPR even compiled a list of animals who pick the Super Bowl and what their records are. African elephants, hippos, dolphins, sloths and even pandas pick who they think will win. Events like these show how easy it is to create an event that drives buzz around the game.
Start planning now so you can have a great events to use as Super Bowl promotions. You can choose a small-budget Facebook Live broadcast or host a party for hundreds of customers.
5. Offer promotions related to the game
If an event isn’t possible for your business, consider creating special Super Bowl promotions.
These could be discounts for fans who wear team gear to your business or special packages for Super Bowl fans. An online business could highlight relevant Super Bowl items while a brick-and-mortar location could put together a “super service package.”
If you want to create a package for the Super Bowl, be strategic about who you want to reach:
- Is the goal to bring in new business and attract people who have never heard of your brand?
- Or do you want to drive customer loyalty by encouraging return visits?
These goals can help you build a promotional plan. Almost every business — from mattress stores to auto repair shops — can get in on the festivities of the Super Bowl. Brainstorm a few ways you can take advantage of Super Bowl season to grow your business.
You can advertise during Super Bowl LIII without a big budget
Super Bowl promotions go well beyond 30-second TV ads. Marketers have the chance to advertise across social media, on blogs and news outlets and during live events.
Set aside a budget for Super Bowl promotions now and start planning your advertising strategy to boost your business during the big game.