MM Awards

Winning the Big Game – Offerpop

Alex Spencer

Jeffrey Soriano, senior director of demand generation at Offerpop, discusses the impact of mobile and second screening on the Super Bowl. 

Jeff SorianoThe Big Game is quickly approaching and excitement is growing. Even people who don’t watch every game of the season will tune into this one. Historically, marketers at this point are eagerly awaiting the moment their carefully crafted advertisements hit screens across the country. Until recently, the way to reach football fans was to establish a presence on their televisions through advertisements, sponsorships and other marketing techniques.

Today, mobile use and second-screening — engaging with other technology while watching TV — increasingly integrate into and influence how consumers participate in the Super Bowl and with the brands vying for their attention. According to CEA, 36 per cent of adults in the US use a companion device to access content about a show they’re watching or to gain insight about another show, and the Big Game will be no exception.

This means that people will likely turn to their social channels to share their reactions and read others’ to pass the time during slow moments during both the game and commercial breaks. This begs an important question: are traditional marketing channels still effective? And if they’re not, how can brands react?

The way I see it, there’s both good news and bad news here. The bad news is that classic marketing efforts alone are not enough. The good news is that user-generated content (UGC) is the perfect solution to staying top of mind during major televised events, such as marquee sporting events. The key to capturing consumers’ attention is to engage with them on the channels they’re already using, in a way that feels authentic and natural to them.

Answering consumers’ behavior
In the case of second-screening during the Super Bowl, people will be seeking authentic reactions and feedback that aren’t available in the carefully scripted moments unfolding on TV. UGC campaigns – such as catchy hashtags and inviting fans to post content that’s relevant to both your brand and the main event on their television screens – are effective ways of delivering what viewers are seeking and want to participate in.

Additionally, there are a lot of activities that surround the game that can provide opportunities for participation. Tailgates, family watch parties and the banter that occurs in person can all carry over to social media, and each presents significant engagement opportunities for your brand. After following the proper rights management steps, you can repurpose the content you collect to keep the conversation going long after the champion is crowned.

If UGC galleries don’t align with your brand’s initiatives, there are still several ways to start conversations with users leading up to and during the game. A simple quiz with football-related questions could drive consumers to relevant product pages on your site. You could capitalise on the competitive nature of the event with a tug of war between two of your products and ask consumers which of two options is their favorite. No matter what approach you take, matching viewers’ behaviors (i.e. short bursts of activity on their devices of choice while the game plays in the background) should be your top priority while engaging during the Big Game. For this reason, it’s imperative to optimise your campaigns for mobile, and make participation intuitive.

UGC gives marketers the most yards
Because the content you will collect through these types of campaigns is created by users themselves, there is less of a need and cost to outsource photo or video content, meaning UGC’s value reaches beyond being authentic and relatable.  While stock photography and professional photo shoots might be the way your brand traditionally acquires visual content, it might be time to supplement that content with the images your fans are creating.

Not to mention, if people are directly uploading content, submitting a form or using a given hashtag during your campaigns, you’ll be obtaining UGC in real time. In other words, there’s no need to go through the process of waiting for pictures to be edited, downloaded or shared with key stakeholders. Time is money, and UGC campaigns are a great way to save on both.

Paying attention to users’ behaviors during the game and putting their needs first are great ways to ensure success in your Super Bowl campaigns. No matter your brand’s specific goals, there are several different ways you can reach your target audience and acquire the content most beneficial for you. Quizzes, face-off competitions and galleries that show off how fans celebrate the big day can all prove to be quite effective in supporting your overall digital marketing efforts. By remembering that many viewers will be checking their mobile devices and double-screening during the game, you can reach them quickly and easily in a way that fits seamlessly into their inherent social sharing habits.

Jeffrey Soriano is senior director of demand generation at UGC marketing firm Offerpop


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