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Unlimited moves? Nah, Super Bowl LI advertisers stand still

Entertainer Justin Bieber and T-Mobile asked Super Bowl LI viewers Sunday, Feb. 5 to show their ?unlimited moves.? 

Brands did the opposite, following the same tired plan of ignoring the fact that more than 100 million people had a mobile device in hand or close nearby and were open to engagement.

Let me list just some of the fumbles in Houston:

1. Exclusivity is a key driver for those joining mobile loyalty clubs, yet for the 51st year in a row, we saw what felt like generic movie trailers that were without mobile calls to action. 

What about asking viewers to opt in to see more, enter for a chance to go to the premiere, or get a personalized call or ringtone from the film?s stars? Nothing of the kind was included.

2. Every pizza company is trying to drive mobile ordering, yet Pizza Hut?s spot missed on the chance to invite viewers to download the application, enter to win a year?s worth of pizza, or to go to the mobile Web for discounts and ability to sign on for personalized ordering? The brand would not even have had to ask us to say ?Cheese.? 

Instead, it ran a spot vintage 1985, except for the quick look at the app in the closing frame.

3. I tweeted about the lack of a mobile call to action in the avocados spot, then received this response from Avocados From Mexico on Twitter (@AvosfromMexico): ?Since you like secrets, join our Secret Society as a VIP member & win!  #AvoSecrets #SB51?. 

Two problems here ? why was not the call to action part of the television ad? And was the account sending automated tweets rather than having real-time interaction that would have been more personal and meaningful?

4. Alfa Romeo introduced new beautiful automobiles, but put aside the fact that mobile and car buying are intertwined. Why not ask viewers to download an app, customize their dream car with color and features, put the vehicle on a virtual track, or have a chance to win one? 

Apple?s Sean Bartlett, one of mobile?s pioneers, says the lack of calls to action is because advertisers use the Super Bowl to run brand anthems. This was a case of that, for sure.

Food for thought
In my mind, the No. 1 big Super Bowl miss was in 2009 when Denny?s offered viewers free Grand Slam breakfasts, but failed to ask patrons to opt in to receive the free food. 

While more than two million showed up for free eggs and hash browns or grits, Denny?s had no way of knowing who came in or how to remarket to them.

Contrast that with an Arby?s product introduction on Jimmy Kimmel?s show just a few months later that called for a text response for a free Roastburger. 

More than 65,000 opted in for on-going offers and engagement, and Arby?s built 172 local databases to further cater to its mobile-carrying customers.

Why is not something like that happening in 2017?

During last year?s Super Bowl telecast, NO MORE, an advocacy group that works to combat domestic violence and sexual assault, maximized the moment by building a mobile database.

People who opted into the text program received action-oriented messages educating them on common signs of abuse and steps that they can take to help victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

There was no more of that or anything similar this year despite the airing of messages that asked viewers to get involved in making the world a better and more forgiving place.

IN SUMMATION, Tom Brady and the Patriots made history Sunday. 

Advertisers made those of us in mobile hope again for a more engaging day. And for truly unlimited moves.

Jeff Hasen is founder/president of mobile consultancy Gotta Mobilize, Seattle. Reach him at . His most recent book was ?The Art of Mobile Persuasion? (Frontier Press, June 2015).