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Mobile passes and fails during Super Bowl XLVI

Bud Light

Mobile was put into the marketing mix during this year’s Super Bowl game. However, while some advertisers such as Pepsi and Bud Light shined with well-executed mobile marketing campaigns, others including H&M and Doritos could have engaged more viewers if they included a mobile call to action.

Super Bowl is one of television’s biggest events and offers brands and marketers a way to reach a vast amount of consumers. This year many companies offered second-screen experiences and engaged football fans who had their mobile devices on-hand during the game.

Super Bowl sponsors Bud Light and Pepsi were one of the clear winners who incorporated mobile and social media into their campaigns.

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While other companies such as Honda, which tapped Matthew Broderick to reprise his iconic role as Ferris Bueller and Coca-Cola, which featured its popular polar bears, were entertaining, mobile calls to action would have been even more effective in engaging users on another screen.

Here is an overview of advertisers who used mobile to heighten their marketing efforts and those that did not, but should have.

Bud Light
Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light was one of the sponsors of Super Bowl XLVI.

The company ran several commercials promoting its beer.

One of the commercials “Rescue Dog” featured a rescue dog that fetches partygoers a Bud Light during a pool party.

Another Bud Light commercial “Premium Work” centered around a work environment where people mix business and pleasure while enjoying Bud Light’s new Platinum beer.

The Rescue Dog and Platinum commercial included a Facebook and Twitter call to action, respectively.

The company also ran Platinum audio and mobile banner ads within Pandora’s iPhone application during and after the game.

Bud Light also ran another commercial, before the half-time show that featured the musical group LMFAO.

Viewers were alerted that they could use their Shazam mobile app via a Shazam-enabled TV tag that let them download a free LMFAO remix song, courtesy of Bud Light.

Bud Light was an advertiser that really incorporated mobile into its Super Bowl strategy.

The Premium Work campaign was a 360-degree marketing effort that incorporated TV, mobile and social elements to engage viewers.

Additionally, the LMFAO commercial had a clear mobile call to action and offered viewers an incentive – a free song – when they whipped out their mobile devices and interacted with the commercial.

GoDaddy
GoDaddy used a unique approach to engage football fans.

The company put a QR code on its TV commercial that when scanned, took users to a mobile-optimized page where they could receive discounts for the company’s cloud-based products and services, as well as watch the Super Bowl commercial through their mobile device.

The commercial features celebrities such as Danicka Patrick and The Pussycat Dolls.

In addition, GoDaddy claims that the ad accounted for a significant spike in Web traffic during the game.

Pepsi
Pepsi used mobile and social to leverage its commercial with the company’s partnership with Fox’s “The X Factor.”

The commercials were Shazam-enabled and users could discuss the Super Bowl game with friends and other football fans via the http://Pepsisoundoff.com mobile-optimized site.

When users scanned the Shazam logo on the Pepsi commercial, they could watch an extended version of the commercial with X Factor winner Melanie Amaro singing.

Additionally, users had the option of downloading the song to their mobile device.

Although the ads did include a mobile component, it did not give users an incentive to use their handsets because the Shazam tag took users to Pepsi’s YouTube page, which an interested consumer could have found on their own without the Shazam tag.

Taking users to a Facebook page where they can “Like” the brand could have been a better choice for the company to build a relationship with users even after the game.

Best Buy
Best Buy’s Super Bowl ad focused on highlighting innovators in the mobile space.

The ads showed the founders of mobile apps such as Instagram, Shazam and Words with Friends in addition to industry leaders such as Neil Papworth, who sent the world’s first SMS message.

The Super Bowl ad promotes Best Buy’s line of mobile phones.

At the end of the commercial, the ad shows the logos of four main carriers – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, which Best Buy offers.

Though the company did not incorporate mobile calls to action such as SMS or mobile bar codes, the ad did highlight the how far the mobile space has come and how apps play a major role in consumer’s everyday lives.

Cars.com
In the Cars.com commercial, the ads show a consumer car shopping and how the site helps consumers make informed decisions when buying a car.

At the end of the commercial, the ad shows a picture of a smartphone and icons for both Facebook and Twitter. The mobile call to action promotes the company’s line of mobile initiatives, which is a smart move while users are interacting with their devices during the game.

In recent years, Cars.com has been ramping up its mobile strategy and mobile applications play a big role in its overall initiatives.

Therefore, featuring a mobile device at the end of the commercial, lets consumers know that Cars.com has mobile content available and encourages them to download the company’s application to their handset.

E*Trade
Financial institution E*Trade used its symbol of the baby as the center of its TV ads to explain how young parents can manage their finances.

The ads promote the company’s Web site as a tool that consumers can visit for money help.

However, the company’s line of mobile apps for the iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices are not promoted.

Since online banking is relying more on mobile platforms to help consumers, a call to action for its apps would have been an easy way to educate consumers on the company’s mobile initiatives.

NFL
The National Football League was the only advertiser that had an SMS call to action featured in its TV ads.

The ad encourage viewers to text the keyword NFL to the short code 69635 to enter for a chance to win a million dollars.

When footballs fans opt-in the receive a link that takes them to NFL Fantasy’s mobile page where they can enter to win money, as well as enter their email and birthday information to receive newsletters and marketing messages from NFL.com

Bravo to the NFL for a job well-done for this initiative. The call to action to text in was displayed prominently during the entire commercial, making it more likely for consumers to participate. The incentive is clear and simple, $1 million dollars.

Hulu
Hulu’s commercial featured comedy actor Will Arnett who encouraged viewers to check out the popular Internet service.

Towards the end of the commercial, Mr. Arnett informs users that they can watch their favorite shows no matter what device they have.

The commercial proved that consumers are no longer just watching their favorite shows on TV or on their computer. They are watching it on the go as well.

Paramount and Disney
Movie studios Paramount and Disney took advantage of the Super Bowl because of the vast amount of viewers they could reach.

Paramount promoted its upcoming films “The Dictator” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”

Disney showed trailers for its much-anticipated “The Avengers” and “John Carter” films.

Although there was no mobile calls to action featured in the TV ads, Paramount and Disney could have offered one.

For example, the studios could have encouraged viewers to download Fandango’s mobile application to preorder their tickets to see any of the films right on the spot.

Not only would that engage football fans with their favorite films, but also help the movie studios sell more tickets.

JetBlue
JetBlue ran a fun TV ad that put several workers into an office cubicle, thus crowding it.

The ad poked fun at how when consumers fly on other aircrafts, it is a crowded experience – unlike those that fly JetBlue, the ad says.

The company could have benefitted from a mobile tie-in and featured a mobile game that centers around the idea of squeezing various objects and people into unlikely spots.

Doritos
Doritos could have also used a mobile app to entertain Super Bowl viewers.

The company ran two commercials during the game.

One featured a man who is looking for his missing cat only to find a dog burying it. The dog then offers the man a bag of Doritos with a post-it note that says to pretend like nothing was seen. 

Doritos also ran another commercial that featured a little kid in a tree house who was laughing at an elderly lady and a baby that were on the ground and unable to reach for the bag.

The company could have developed a mobile app that features a game where users can go through different obstacles to obtain a bag of Doritos.

H&M
H&M’s commercial featured athlete David Beckham as he strutted and posed in his new underwear line for the retailer.

Although the commercial simply centered around the half-naked athlete, H&M could have also promoted its mobile applications to have users engage with the brand even after the commercial ends. 

The retailer could have also put a QR code in the TV ad that when downloaded, would take users to an app store where they can download the mobile app to their device, or choose to visit the mobile Web site. 

Overall, Super Bowl advertising's mobile/TV spot integration was an improvement from last year, but is still not something that all brands are implementing. 

There will likely be an increase in mobile's role during the Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. We can't wait to see it. 

Nearly 40 percent of respondents to an InMobi Super Bowl XLVI Mobile Consumption Survey used mobile devices in response to TV ads and 45 percent estimated that they would spend 30 minutes or more on their mobile devices during the game.

The survey also found that more almost twice as many respondents used their mobile devices during the first half of the game compared to the second half.

Additional findings include that 39 percent used their mobile device in response to a TV commercial during the game by doing one or more of the following: discussing commercials, getting more information about an advertised product, or watching TV ads again, 30 percent reported using their mobile devices most during commercials and 27 percent downloaded a Super Bowl app.

Associate Editor Rimma Kats covers media, television, research and social networks. Reach her at rimma@mobilemarketer.com.

Associate Editor Chantal Tode covers advertising, messaging, legal/privacy and database/CRM. Reach her at chantal@mobilemarketer.com.

Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer. Reach her at lauren@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Advertising, Super Bowl, Bud Light, Pepsi, HM, Toyota, JetBlue, Best Buy, ETrade, Paramount, Disney, Doritos

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Comments on "Mobile passes and fails during Super Bowl XLVI"

  1. Caleb Varoga says:

    February 7, 2012 at 5:32pm

    I work with a company called BoomText, and we have a contract running the NFL's text campaigns. While we're not allowed to disclose the exact numbers of how many people participated yet, we do know that the NFL was EXTREMELY happy with the results. The call to action was clear and the NFL understood exactly what they wished to accomplish. We will have a full press release detailing results and participation rates (that we can), and will post the link on our Twitter account (@boomtext) when the numbers are finished and released.
  2. Ben Tannenbaum says:

    February 7, 2012 at 8:59am

    It's worth noting that Universal Picture's spot for their upcoming film "Battleship" did in fact direct viewers to download Fandango's mobile apps.