Super Bowl advertisers must advance their mobile game with streaming
By Brielle Jaekel
January 29, 2016
The National Football League is furthering its content on streaming platforms, cognizant of the growing demand for standalone viewing services on mobile devices, meaning advertisers must adapt their Super Bowl strategies to include these platforms or risk being left behind.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl and to accommodate the shift in consumer viewing habits, the NFL has taken to mobile to fully immerse its fans, and advertisers should do the same. Viewers on the multitude of NFL digital properties will have access to an array of exclusive content, interactive voting, social media integration and ad extras, which means marketers need to get personal to keep up with the new intimate viewing experience.
The NFL has always looked to put our content out in as many ways as possible to serve our fans, said Alex Riethmiller, spokeswoman at NFL Media. As media consumption habits have changed, with more video being consumed on digital platforms, it was a natural for us to stream the Super Bowl.
As everyone in the media industry is seeing, mobile leads all other digital platforms when it comes to content consumption, and typically by a large margin, she said. We see more traffic to NFL Mobile on an NFL Sunday than to NFL.com.
And so, whether it is a piece of breaking news, a fantasy update, a highlight clip or a live stream of Super Bowl 50, mobile is at the center of our focus for our digital efforts.
The NFL has been streaming the Super Bowl on digital devices for the past five years, and last year NBC saw more than 1.3 million viewers on the Web stream. While NBC previously sold streaming and television spots separate, CBS is opting for bundled advertisement purchasing, meaning every national spot will also air on mobile and online.
CBS is doing advertisers a favor by forcing the spots to air on the live stream as well, as NFLs digital properties will direct users to view the live stream though CBSs stream, and Verizon customers will be able to view the broadcast on the NFL app. This means that a significant amount of viewers will still have access to the content that many are excited to watch.
The Super Bowl is one of the few times in which consumers look forward to ads, which means that marketers have an advantage but they need to leverage its full potential. This years advertisers really need to think about the multitude of platforms their content is airing on, and create engaging content that fits in well with each device.
The challenges will be in that the advertisers and sponsors that did not think through the clear call to action on their ad space could lose out on an amazing opportunity to really talk to new and loyal customers, said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis. If the ad does not follow a seamless path to action, or lands on a non-mobile friendly page/experience, they could lose customers both new and loyal due to a lack of thoughtful preparation for this new view of the game.
It is better to not advertise at all than to give consumers a bad experience, she said. The public is not too forgiving in the digital space and usually will not go back to a brand if the experience is painful.
Mobile inclusive experience
Beyond streaming the Super Bowl 50, NFL is also streaming a 24/7 live feed of its network on mobile devices, has launched a series of extra applications specific to the San Francisco game, will also be airing a Snapchat live story and is providing a series of Bronco-related emojis.
On social media, there will be a Twitter Q&A on Opening Night, where fans can also find various behind-the-scenes content. Fans will also be able to vote and discuss their favorite Super Bowl ads on NFL properties, for greater marketing engagement.
Ads on mobile are a different experience than ads on TV in that there is an opportunity for the sponsors and advertisers to gain traction that wasn't there before with a click through to their specific product placement, Ms. Troutman said. With there being millions of consumers that watch the Super Bowl, this opportunity should have been well thought out as the ability to gain new unique visitors to a campaign page, mobile site, video, app, etc. can be exponential in comparison to a typical event.