Super Bowl Whitepaper: 3 Ingredients For A Successful Campaign

With the Eagles and Patriots gearing up for the biggest football game of the year, another battle is brewing as the world’s biggest brands get ready to launch their spots.

But before we start thinking about the most effective and important Super Bowl ads of 2018, we thought we’d look back on last year’s successes, and dig a little deeper into what advertisers can learn from the big game’s highs and lows.

Our Super Bowl LI Video Impact Study analyses the 10 most popular Super Bowl ads and looks at what made them a hit with audiences – and what they could’ve done better. The research also examines macro trends around viewing behaviour of the Super Bowl, and the demographics that were most engaged.

For instance, we found that Super Bowl 2017 ads were more likely to engage older audiences, with average scores from our content testing tool Unruly EQ – which analyses ads’ emotional, social and business impact – 16% higher than those recorded by younger viewers (18-34).

To get you started we’ve pulled out 3 key finding from the report – enjoy!

1. Develop a cross-channel strategy

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting TV events of the year, but 23% of Americans claimed they don’t watch the live game at all. Launching a multi-platform campaign across digital channels means you’ll avoid coverage gaps and reach digital-first audiences who are not watching live TV.

unruly super bowl whitepaper

2. Focus on awareness and recall

Super Bowl LI ads had an average brand recall of 64%, substantially lower than the norm of 73%. This a major problem, as the quality of your ad doesn’t matter if no one can tell it’s your ad. Be sure to incorporate your branding, product or logo into the creative – and don’t worry too much about putting off viewers. In fact, research from Karen Nelson Field’s book Viral Marketing: The Science of Sharing suggests branding has no impact on whether or not an individual will share an ad or not.

unruly super bowl whitepaper

3. Make people feel something

Hyundai’s ‘A Better Super Bowl’ was crowned our most effective 2016 Super Bowl ad because it managed to trigger 8 out of the 9 intense emotions we measure – resulting in the highest EQ score by some margin! Incorporate advanced testing into your process to identify the emotions that are connecting with audiences.

unruly super bowl whitepaper