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How Pepsi was one of few to leverage mobile for Super Bowl LI

pepsi super bowl

Pepsi celebrates the winners of the Super Bowl

PepsiCo's annual sponsorship of the Super Bowl Half Time show was among some, but not many, that effectively tapped social media and mobile for unique interactive elements that leveraged live-streams, paid social advertising and giveaways.

The Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl Halftime Show leveraged a slew of mobile tactics leading up to the performance and after, but strong innovation through mobile was surprisingly absent at this year’s game. However, live streaming dominated with brands such as Pepsi, Budweiser and Snickers extending their airtime through social media. 

“Pepsi's deep-rooted heritage in sports and music aligns with the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, which is the ultimate intersection of sports and music and one of the most watched and highly-anticipated entertainment events of the year,” said Lou Arbetter, senior director at Pepsi Productions.          

Mobile strategies
Pepsi held a variety of giveaways during the game to interact with fans leading up to the halftime show featuring Lady Gaga. Social media users were given a chance to win merch by reposting Pepsi’s tweets. 

The soda brand’s sponsored post appeared on a wide range of users’ feeds, thanks to Pepsi’s hefty ad spend. Pepsi’s logo was featured in more images posted on social media than any other brand due to its sponsorship of the halftime show. 



Budweiser took a dramatic difference this year for its Super Bowl commercial, and spurred a debate regarding immigrants. However, to continue its tradition of including the Budweiser Clydesdales in the Super Bowl, the beer brand by including a live stream of the horses at a “party.”

The live stream depicted the horses in a barn set up as a Super Bowl viewing party. 


Social strategies
Mars, Incorporated’s Snickers made a bold move for its high-priced Super Bowl spot by filming the ad live and holding a 36-hour Facebook stream, hoping to be the most buzzed-about marketer. 

With such a high price tag on advertising for the Super Bowl, marketers’ high quality efforts have created an environment in which consumers actually look forward to the ads. Snickers’ day-and-a-half live stream, paired with the live recording of its ad was one of many brands who are fighting to become the number one talked about marketer from the event (see more). 

Casual dining chain Buffalo Wild Wings also put on a flashy marketing campaign to bring Super Bowl viewers through its doors, calling on Super Bowl champion Brett Favre to participate in social and content efforts.

The restaurant rolled out traditional and digital spots in support of its What the Favre campaign, in addition to an expansive social media component that will feature Mr. Favre interacting with the brand on his own social media channels. Fans of both Mr. Favre and chicken wings joined the conversation through the hashtag #HitTheButton (see more). 

“When you boil it down, halftime is a spontaneous celebration and that is quintessentially a ‘Live for NOW’ moment,” Mr. Arbetter said. “We want fans everywhere to experience that feeling of halftime, while ‘Getting Hyped for Halftime’ on Super Bowl Sunday as well.”

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Consumer packaged goods

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