Spending $5M on Super Bowl ad? Make it count

CARY, N.C. - 

When marketing a product, understand your audience. Blend in some social media.

Sounds simple enough, right?

But when you’re dropping $5 million on a 30-second Super Bowl ad — which Experian points out is the going rate this year — that simple strategy becomes a tad more important.

“Because this is one of the most sought-after advertising slots, brands need to make sure they take full advantage of the connection they can make with audiences during the Super Bowl,” Brienna Pinnow, Experian’s director of product marketing for Targeting, said in a news release.

“That means developing a creative strategy that works across channels and encourages people to engage with the brand,” she said.

And using social media to do so. 

Experian looked at five auto brands that advertised during Super Bowl 50 last year and also involved a social media campaign with the ad.

What Experian found is that, yes, these brands picked up more social media followers — but these followers happened to be biggier influencers and bigger users than the average Joe who logs onto Facebook, Twitter, etc. 

There was a 14.8-percent uptick in the percentage of high-influencer followers (those with 1,000-plus followers) for these brands the month following Super Bowl 50, Experian said.

There was a 17.2-percent increase in the number of consumers talking about the brands that month, and a 35.4-percent gain in the average number of posts for each follower.

“If a brand is going to invest in high-dollar ad space like the Super Bowl, they need to take a multichannel approach. This means extending the TV ad’s story into a social media conversation,” Pinnow said. “Through our data and analytical capabilities, we’re able to help brands identify and connect with audiences who will spread their message to fans, followers and potential new customers. As our analysis shows, when Super Bowl advertisers understand the data and link their strategy across channels, they have the power to motivate action.”

It’s also about understanding the audience you might be reaching, too. And on Super Bowl Sunday, there will obviously be millions of sports fans with their eyes glued to the sets.

Preferences of sports fans 

Over at CarHub.com — a company founded by well-known auto industry analyst Jesse Toprak — there is a personality quiz called CarTron for shoppers to figure out what cars best suit them. Some of the questions in the quiz involve sports, the company said.

After analyzing 25,000 quiz answers, CarHub found that sports fan tend to prefer family-friendly cars over “sophisticated” vehicles, and “powerful” rides over eco-friendly ones.

Some examples of  these vehicle types, as shared by CarHub:

  • Family-friendly vehicles: Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Toyota Highlander, Subaru Outback and Honda CR-V. 
  • Sophisticated vehicles: Tesla Model S, Audi A4 and Chrysler 300. 
  • Powerful vehicles: Dodge Ram, Ford F-150, Dodge Charger. 
  • Eco-friendly vehicles: Toyota Prius, Tesla, Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt.

When it comes to storylines, they go for happy endings and stars with whom they can identify, CarHub said. They take non-fiction over fiction and go with their heads instead of their hearts, according to the site.

CarHub also notes that folks who find pro athletes to be role models tend to: go for fun rather than practical vehicles; opt for sophisticated cars over family-friendly rides; choose saving money over eco concerns; want their rides to be powerful and make an impression; prefer cars that are “fun to drive rather than fun to look at,” the analysis said.

“Who we admire says a lot about us, as human beings are inherently social creatures who naturally seek to elevate the 'best' in any group,” Toprak said in a news release.

“The same personality traits that lead us to define excellence in specific ways also lead us to define the ideal vehicle in similarly specific ways, and it is these connections that CarTron takes advantage of in its vehicle recommendation algorithms that leverage seemingly unrelated questions to predict vehicle preferences,” he said.

Demographics of engagement

Going back to Experian’s analysis, the company examined the demographics of social media users engaging with the brands within a month of the Super Bowl, and found that the likelihood of males engaging with these brands was about 30 percent higher than that of the overall population.

Additionally, almost three-fifths of the engagers were between 26 and 50. On an average basis, however, the crowd skewed older: the average engager was about 3 years older than the typical person using social media, Experian said.

Close to two-fifths of the engagers fell into the $50,000-to-$99,999 income bracket.

These folks were also 1.72 times more likely to be what Experian calls “Couples with Clout.”

This is a segment within Experian’s Mosaic lifestyle segmentation system who are often middle-aged couples with teenagers at home.

Experian describes this “Couples with Clout” segment as having an “active and energetic lifestyle,” living in affluent areas and finding “joy in consumption.”

The company said most are in-market shoppers (either new or used) and have their eyes on CUVs and import sedans with cutting-edge tech options.

“We live in an era where consumers freely express their opinions and preferences through a variety of channels,” Experian’s Pinnow said. “Social media data offers brand marketers unique insight into the behaviors, beliefs and preferences of both their current and potential brand fans.

“We enable marketers to make sense of and transform the wealth of social media data available to them and turn it into actionable and meaningful insight. This helps marketers optimize and deliver content that is relevant to their audiences, particularly for those brands planning campaigns for this year’s game,” she said.  

A separate Experian analysis shows that four of these five auto brands had top 20 brand loyalty scores: Toyota (sixth at 66 percent), Hyundai (No. 11 at 63.2 percent), Audi (No. 15 at 56.9 percent) and Jeep (No. 18 at 55 percent).

“The primary goal of each marketing campaign is to deliver a message that resonates with the audience on a personal level and encourages them to take action,” continued Pinnow. “Marketers who accomplish this can create a better experience for their customers, which hopefully can evolve into a loyal brand relationship.”

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