Volvo revs up Super Bowl 'anti-commercial' with mobile contest
- Volvo is giving mobile users a chance to win a subscription for a S60 sedan during the Super Bowl. The carmaker, which isn't an official sponsor of the game, plans to deploy a counter-programming strategy during the big game by activating a mobile website that challenges smartphone and tablet owners to keep their eyes on a video of a car for as long as possible, according to an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The "S60 Longest Drive" contest kicks off at 6 p.m. on Feb. 3, just before kickoff in the championship game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Three people who keep their eyes on the car the longest will have the chance to win a Care by Volvo subscription to the S60.
- The www.S60LongestDrive.com website will go live next week, per the announcement.
Volvo's "S60 Longest Drive" campaign is reminiscent of Mercedes-Benz's ambush campaign during last year's Super Bowl, which ended up crashing due to technical difficulties. The "Last Fan Standing" contest last year asked at-home viewers to hold a finger on an image of a Mercedes AMG C43 Coupe, with the winner the person who does so the longest. Instead, the game never began, as Mercedes-Benz reports it ran into last-minute issues related to servers. The German carmaker converted the contest into a sweepstakes. To avoid any similar negative attention or damage to its brand image, Volvo must ensure its mobile website can handle a major spike in traffic, as many people may participate in the contest during pregame coverage.
Volvo may get more bang for its buck with the ambush campaign, considering that Super Bowl ads this year are reported to cost more than $5 million for a 30-second spot. The carmaker also has a chance to reach a younger audience than the Super Bowl typically has. Most (83%) of the big game's viewers are between the ages of 35 and 74, according to mobile video ad network AdColony. Volvo has a unique opportunity to reach tech-savvy millennials and Gen Zers who are less likely to watch the championship game.
Meanwhile, this year's Super Bowl likely will reverse declines, if ratings from the regular season and playoffs are any indication. The AFC championship game's ratings surged 26% from a year earlier, while the NFC championship game rose 10% from 2018, according to data cited by Broadcasting & Cable. Viewership of NFL games on digital platforms jumped 65% during the 2018 regular season from the prior year, the league said in a report. The number of viewers streaming on phones has increased 147% compared to 2017 and streaming via connected TV devices has grown 54%, per the report.
- Mobile Marketer Mercedes-Benz's mobile Super Bowl contest never left the garage
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