As the cost of advertising during the Super Bowl game itself has soared, companies have become more creative in how they reach consumers, launching extensive pre-game digital marketing campaigns, advertising and pre-game tv ads. All of this requires not just creative planning but technical planning as well. Everyone is hoping their digital marketing efforts and especially video content will go viral, even a few weeks before the event. And this means that even marketers need to be concerned with whether the channels through which they push videos out (either their own channels or third-party channels and video platforms) can handle a viral campaign. Maybe the CMO doesn’t usually sit around thinking about the technicalities enabling video streaming, but s/he will have to start asking: are the solutions we plan to use ready for virality, i.e. “the big time”? Are we also prepared for mobile, which is where increasing numbers of the audience are coming from?
By extension, media and video distribution providers and social media platforms will already be thinking about the viral nature of Super Bowl campaign videos and materials and preparing. Or at least they should be.
Gaining yards: Running the ball downfield
The benefit to this approach is no secret. Last year, a CNBC piece highlighted the value of creating a movement (with a full campaign) versus getting some short-term traction from an expensive (and possibly low ROI) Super Bowl ad:
“A movement can create real change. ... For a fraction of the cost of a SuperBowl spot, you can create a movement that captures and capitalizes on all the excitement surrounding the Super Bowl. That momentum can last long after Sunday."
In 2015, there were 114.4 million viewers of the Super Bowl on TV. More than half that number were online on Facebook at the same time talking about the Super Bowl in real time - meaning that the second-screen concept has firmly taken hold. (Facebook estimated that 85 percent of Super Bowl TV viewers were also using their mobiles during the game.) We all see this evidenced on game day every week as our friends fill our Facebook feeds with real-time updates about touchdowns and bad ref calls, and so on.
So it’s not all about the game itself and what happens there. Clearly many companies are savvy enough to realize that mobile-friendly content (video and otherwise) in the lead-up to the Super Bowl can be powerful and result-oriented - without the high-stakes cost associated with an actual Super Bowl ad. Ad Age highlights a campaign from Adobe Marketing Cloud that shows how the most effective strategy for Adobe has been to focus its data-driven media buy on a targeted video campaign, launching before the Super Bowl, aimed at sites for marketers.
Following the data to know where the conversations are happening in their specific field - and putting all the pieces in place to ensure that the right touch points are covered. And of course that once the campaign is out there, consumers will be able to access and engage with all the content. The whole Super Bowl “season” can be a springboard for marketing success - but there needs to be a ready-for-anything game plan to get you there.
The success of any multimedia marketing campaign (now and in the future) - and perhaps most fundamentally, ensuring that the technical solutions powering the different aspects of the campaign actually work consistently, scaling up for any level of demand - depends on making sure your site/app will not break even if your content/campaign/video goes viral. This is the peace of mind Varnish Plus provides.
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