Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: Gearing up for Super Bowl XLVIII

From the promotions for the championship game between the Broncos and the Seahawks to the coveted commercial spots, Super Bowl XLVIII will likely showcase some of the best advertising, marketing and public relations of the year. While the game is the focus for some, the commercials receive lots of recognition as well due to their creative and original approaches (and their high prices tags). Many brands have planned, paid advertising, while others may take advantage of the live action to promote their brand in original, witty ways on one of many available platforms. Based on the hype for both the game and for the commercials, and the potential for creative, real-time messaging, Super Bowl XLVIII promises audiences much to look forward to.

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post – an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary – we look at all things Super Bowl. Super Bowl Sunday statistics, how to avoid game day marketing fumbles, keys to creating successful real-time game day messaging and a peek at fan-favorite Budweiser advertising are all covered in this week’s post. We also look at the value of pricey Super Bowl advertising.

The Super Bowl, by the numbers (PR Daily)

In this article, PR Daily gives a breakdown of all things associated with the Super Bowl, including wing and pizza consumption, prices for hotels near the stadium and consumers’ reactions to the commercials during the game.  For those who partake in Super Bowl festivities solely for the Friday Five Logofood, approximately 1.25 billion wings will be consumed, and according to Pizza Today, 15 million pizzas will be sold.

For viewers interested in the media and advertising aspect of the game, USA Today will use the “Super Bowl Ad Meter” in order to “gauge consumer reaction to advertisements in real time.” Participating voters have the ability to share their thoughts on “all ads that air from the coin toss to the end of the game, including those that air during halftime.”  The winning ad will be announced after the game, and the full rankings will be printed in USA Today on Feb. 3. Visit the article for the full list of Super Bowl stats.

Like players, marketers try to avoid fumbles on Super Bowl Sunday (PR Week)

In recent years, the use of real-time marketing has become a popular practice for many brands during the Super Bowl. Oreo’s ever-popular “You can still dunk in the dark.” tweet from the blackout during the 2013 Super Bowl set the bar for real-time marketing, and many brands will be looking for opportunities to imitate their creativity during the upcoming game. However, “PR executives say that the winning companies will be those that enter the game carefully,” according to the article.

Josh Lohrius, executive creative director at Olson Engage, encourages brands to be wary of real-time marketing fails. “Tons of brands will try to match [what Oreo did]. A couple will do it really well, a thousand will get ignored, and about 25 will give us chills and do it badly. What we have counseled our clients for the Super Bowl, or at any time, is to only do it if it works and makes sense.” For more about real-time marketing during the game, and other potential “fumbles,” visit the article.

Your Super Bowl XLVIII Real-Time Marketing Guide (Shift Communications)

While real-time marketing lends itself to major risk of failure, this article offers guidance on how to set your brand up for potential real-time marketing success. Brands have the ability to prepare strategies in advance in case an opportunity arises by “following the process of the earned media strategy” which can alleviate the risk of posting content that is “potentially brand-damaging or seen as crassly opportunistic.”

For Super Bowl XLVIII, a pre-prepared real-time toolkit should include: lists and photos of prominent Broncos and Seahawks players, popular quotes or well-known statements from these players and potential events that may take place. Once you’ve created a list of these items, you can create potential messaging which can be checked in advance. While the messaging may not suit real-time action perfectly, it can be altered slightly, if needed, and re-checked before posting. Visit the article for more details and for the next steps in the message creation process.

Budweiser Set to Charm the World With Its ‘Puppy Love’ Super Bowl Ad (AdWeek)

Budweiser returns with a “sequel” to its well-received “brotherhood” ad from its campaign last year, which was also shown during the 2013 Super Bowl. The brand released a 60-second teaser on Wednesday that has gone viral since then. In the ad, Budweiser highlights the relationship between a puppy, a Clydesdale and a horse trainer, encompassing “subtle parallels between the puppy/Clydesdale and horse trainer/puppy breeder.”

The brand remains loyal to its image by starring Clydesdales and dogs, which have been used in Budweiser ads in the past. Although the full ad won’t be released until during the Super Bowl, it’s anticipated to rank among the top 5 best advertisements from the game. The teaser can be viewed via the article.

Yes, A Super Bowl Ad Really Is Worth $4 Million (Forbes)

One of the major factors that set Super Bowl advertising apart from year-round advertising is the price tag. For a cool $4 million, brands purchase ad spots during the game to showcase some of the best advertising and marketing of the year. While it may be questionable if one commercial spot is worth such a high cost, many agree that the ads are worth the price. According to the article, “50% of the Super Bowl audience tunes in just to watch the ads,” and with over 108 million reported viewers for last year’s game, advertisers see the Super Bowl as a prime advertising opportunity.

The positive public relations generated from the advertising efforts is also appealing to brands. “The PR value and ‘replay value’ of a great Super Bowl spot alone can be worth the game’s high media cost,” according to the article. For example, Sketcher’s Super Bowl ads in 2012 and 2013 resulted in PR value that “easily quadrupled the actual Super Bowl media cost.” Learn more about the benefits of Super Bowl advertising and PR via the article.

Faith Goumas is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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