The top #SuperBowl digital marketing moments

While the Super Bowl wasn’t as exciting as we all had hoped (congratulations Seattle Seahawks on an excellent win), I loved seeing what brands did differently this year to appeal to the 96.9 million Super Bowl viewers. Some really interesting changes, including:

  • Hashtags ruled as the main CTA with over 60% of the ads using some kind of #hashtag to keep the viewers engaged beyond 30-seconds.
  • Brands aimed more for an emotional connection outside of trying to be funny. For the first time since I can remember, the funny was put aside in favor of tugging at the emotional strings of the viewers.
  • While Shazam was big a few years ago, there were only a couple ads that still used this as an opportunity to extend experience.
  • Website, or URLs in general, were almost non existent this year with only a handful of companies pointing customers to their homepage or social presence with a URL.
  • While social logos were also big last year and the year before, there was only one brand that continued to include the “social buttons” call to action.

This is a big shift! Hashtags have now become the “universal” way people can use the second screen and still partake in the conversation. Even though hashtags are most commonly associated with Twitter, brands now have a way to easily connect with their viewers and customers on their social platform of preference…Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

So what did we see from some of the #hashtags used during last nights game? SocialMediaToday has a nice recap of usage and trends from some of the ones used in last nights game.

One other interesting thing to note was the use of email during and after the game. Here’s three brands that did it well.

Marvel had several new movies they were promoting, one of which was Captain America. If you happen to be checking email during the game, they included an email promoting the new trailer as well. See below:


The Gap decided to use the potential down time during halftime to promote their special “today only” offer. This was a first from any brand I have noticed that used specific timing of an huge event to send out an email



Macy’s was quick to reach the inbox, at least for me, with the first “Congratulations Seahawks” message. Shortly thereafter, there were several more messages flooding in related to this same kind of content but Macy’s was the first (minutes after the end of the game)


I can’t close this out without the biggest surprise of them all, the Esurance post game ad. Since they purchased the not-so-popular first commercial post game, they decided to give away the money they saved to one person who used the #Esurancesave30 hashtag. This was a great ad, as it was highly relevant to the placement within the game and cut through the hashtag clutter by giving the viewer a specific reason ($1.5 Million reasons in fact) to use the hashtag.

It will be interesting to see how this kind of promotional stunt plays out for Esurance as it relates to new customers. It was a great way to get their name out, as my social feeds were flooded and #Esurancesave30 immediately hit the top of the trending charts.

Until next year!

Posted on February 11, 2014 and filed under Integrated Marketing.