Super Strategies Your Business Can Learn From Super Bowl 50

Did your brand invest $5M plus to run a thirty second spot that would be seen by 170 million people during Super Bowl 50? Or make a major announcement while leaving the halftime show? No? Us either.

While the global stage is far too large for the majority of brands out there, there are still incredible strategies at play that can be applied to your business today.

This past week the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in what most sports enthusiasts and commentators point to as further evidence that great defenses win big games. The truth is both teams had tremendous talent. The difference is that one team found a more advantageous way to use that talent. In your market space can you say the same?

While this weekend we saw what a great defense can do… we think there’s a lot to learn from what an orchestrated offense was able to do this week. With this year’s Super Bowl in the rear view mirror, it’s important to realize that nothing about the event was “just put together.” From what happened on the field to what happened off the field in the world of business the roadmap to the Super Bowl was highly choreographed. There’s an amazing transformation in how consumers engage. How brands communicate. How commerce is connected. The fundamentals of gaining attention is changing.

Example 1: It’s always a show

With all that’s going on in the world, hype for this year’s championship game was not as high as in years past. But that narrative changed on game day. 50 years of playing a game at such a high level is a huge achievement and the NFL pulled out all the stops to visually show just what an impact football has on the nation. Super Bowl Sunday is the only day of the year that all other sporting events stop. Literally. All NBA games end before kickoff, the PGA tour ends before kickoff, the NHL, and so on. The sports world steps to the side for the NFL.

Now consider this: For nearly 10 minutes (a highly valuable chunk of air time) the league brought out one by one the MVP from each of the last 49 Super Bowls including Super Bowl 1! Assembled on a field waving to cheering stands the nation honored sports heroes of today and yesterday and made it all seem more important than it might actually otherwise be.

National pride was again amplified when Lady Gaga decked in red, white and blue sang the national anthem to great praise… And one of the most popular ads (Super Bowl babies) advertised, wait for it, the Super Bowl and football itself? An event that had little fanfare in the lead up became a source of national and city pride that united a country and sets up the next 50 years very well. Commemorating the milestone and investing the time in identifying how that might be best achieved is something businesses everywhere can do to get their markets talking.

Example 2: How to make 30 seconds more than 30 seconds

It used to be that you had to actually wait to see the Super Bowl ads until, you know, the actual Super Bowl. In recent years, that has definitely changed and perhaps it’s one of the reasons that the pre-hype was particularly, noticeably low this year. 11 advertisers chose to release their Bowl commercials in advance of Sunday’s game… many with the intent of capitalizing on the early coverage and enabling hashtag amplification and engagement rewards. Consider this: T-Mobile partnered with rapper Drake with their TV spot and cross-promoted with a 60 second Instagram video ad. Again, highly choreographed – capturing micro-moments of engagements with targeted consumers across multiple touch points.

Amazon got in the game for the first time with #BaldwinBowl and Budweiser’s #GiveADamn partnered with Twitter to donate up to a million dollars depending on the retweet of the hashtag. Perhaps one of the spots that could have the greatest impact on a business is QuickBooks who invited small businesses to enter a contest where they could win a paid 30-second advertisement produced by the brand’s ad agency. The winner? Death Wish Coffee, the self-proclaimed world’s strongest coffee. How is it doing? With a well-orchestrated moment, it’s the top featured item on amazon.com. It’s sold 5,000 pounds of coffee since the ad aired – compared to 1,000 pounds a day in early January. And is now in conversations with major big box retailers and grocery chains. Anticipating this type of exposure, the Death Wish team worked through the Super Bowl to keep servers from crashing and in a business that sees 95% of its business from online, it says it’s had “almost no delay” in orders. How are you working to amplify the content and channels you’re working for greater company momentum?

Example 3: Use an Occasion to Serve Your Purposes

Supposedly, Coldplay was the headlining act of the Super Bowl halftime show. But as the New York Times called out, their outfits said it all. Dressed in gray, slate and black they were visually “the literal void at the center of a riot of exuberance.” Perhaps they were there to make sure all was set up “so that the night’s true event could go off without a hitch.” That event? Beyoncé of course.

You may like her, or not listen to her at all… Regardless of your preference, many people do listen. She sets trends, builds her brand, illuminates styles, and is deemed worthy of emulation by many. One thing’s for sure… her approach was highly unconventional. She performed not on a stage, but from the field itself. And she debuted new material. Who does that? Someone who’s orchestrated the moment to serve her.

 Coincidence that she released a new video and song “Formation” hours before? Coincidence that a world tour was announced on the heels of the breakout performance? Not hardly. Her team understood her target demographic, gave them exclusivity in channels that mattered to them and took a one-time event and made it something people are still talking about … and will mimic in years to come.

So What?

Why should you care about the strategies of a football team or league?… The happenings of a mega telecom brand?… Or even the debut of a musician’s latest work?…

They all point to something very strategic – planning and understanding attention. None of these things just happened. There may be some undertones of good fortune at play, but at their crux, these were highly orchestrated affairs. Teams of people that understood the markets they served, knew the right channels to engage in and had the vision to take the things that work and forecast what was possible so they could amplify these seemingly one-time events for the greatest ongoing opportunity. It’s a lot like what a Rogue Amplification Blueprint does for businesses every day. It demonstrates a level of insight and alignment that we highly value.

Now, these are just three examples. Let us know what else you saw that business can learn from. And, of course, if the Rogue team can help you beef up your offense, we’d be grateful for the opportunity.