Brands advertisers on the Super Bowl are slowly coming around to making their $5 million investments part of an integrated multichannel experience. But there’s clearly more work to be done.

A decade ago, advertisers first posted their advertisements on YouTube in advance of the Big Game, trading the big reveal on game day for social sharing. At the time, that was a big deal.

Fast forward to Super Bowl LII. Amazon’s Echo voice assistant played a leading role, showing how Super Bowl advertising can be part of a multichannel strategy that goes beyond reposting content on YouTube or Twitter.  First, there was its playful Super Bowl prediction: “The team favored to win is the (cough)…is the (cough)…excuse me…is the Patriots. (Clears throat.) That was tough to get out. But I’m flying with the Eagles on this one…”

Echo’s response complemented its televised Super Bowl ad, “Alexa Loses Her Voice,” featuring celebrities and a cameo by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The celebrities, from Anthony Hopkins to Cardi B (“Just call me Balexa”) amplified the ad through posts on Twitter.

Another brand, Kraft, got props for its use of mobile, encouraging people to share a picture or video of their family for possible inclusion in Kraft’s “Family Greatly” Super Bowl TV ad. “To me, not pure #mobile call to action during #superbowl telecast, but asking viewers ahead of time to post family time pix or video during the game is mobile-centered idea,” wrote Possible Mobile’s Jeff Hasen on Twitter. In contrast, other brands missed opportunities by failing to incorporate mobile calls to action into their TV ads.

As my colleague, Noah Elkin, points out: “It used to be that brands dropped the ball orchestrating their TV spots and search –  they didn’t buy paid search ads for the products they advertised and/or they didn’t have updated, search-optimized content to prepare for the onslaught of search activity post-airing of ad). Now it’s also a question of how well they prepared their mobile presence for multitasking viewers watching the game with their device in hand.”

This year’s Super Bowl ads underscore why marketers need to take a timeout, ensuring their multichannel strategies are in sync with their TV advertising efforts before heading to the end zone.

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