Ah the Super Bowl, one of broadcast and advertising’s largest events of the year, busts open the purse strings for some of the most memorable (or what the heck was that) commercials to hit hearts and screens around the world. According to CNBC, the cost of a 30-second spot during Super Bowl LIII was $5.25 million. So, what does all that cash really get advertisers?
This year the Super Bowl generated a whopping 57B global social impressions.* In fact, advertisers commanded a staggering 25 percent of all social impressions from game day through Tuesday.* So to put that into B2B terms – it would take Oracle more than 18 years to get that many social impressions with a hefty advertising budget, based on the number of social impressions Oracle received in the last year.*
At a high level, the brands who generated the most positive social conversations were Microsoft (3 percent), Verizon (3 percent), Bud Light (2 percent), and The Washington Post (1percent).*
So, what can B2B brands learn from this year’s Super Bowl advertising leaders?
- Lead with a purpose: Microsoft, Verizon and The Washington Post made a big splash online with purpose-driven ads showcasing yet again the power of leading with your brand’s core values. Never forget that people are interested in and appreciate the bigger picture of what your company is contributing to the world.
- Partner… strategically: This year’s ads featured more brand mashups than years past, including HBO and Bud Light, and T-Mobile, Lyft and Taco Bell; it will be interesting to watch how those collaborations pay off. Partnerships can be an incredibly powerful tool in a B2B marketer’s arsenal, but the key is partnering with companies that align with your brand’s mission and values, or risk a misfire with your target audience. Partner with adjacent technologies and companies that share your values to drive relevance and share costs to create something truly meaningful and memorable.
- Humanize technology: With a heightened concern around consumer privacy and security, brands like Amazon, SimpliSafe and TurboTax put people at the center of their stories and poked fun at the failings of technology. This serves to show consumers that these brands understand them and are listening to their concerns and frustrations. Keep your customer at the center of your story and ground your messaging in its impact on people.
In the end, the user testing and research behind these ads to create cultural relevance – the magic we never see – may yield the biggest return to B2B creatives. And when you cut through the noise of celebrity endorsements, stunts and the desire to be meme-able, ads that truly resonate focus on connecting with consumers’ fears and desires. This reinforces a key proof point: no matter how cool and advanced the product or service may be, human-to-human connections still matter.
*Data pulled from NetBase