Image credit: John O’Boyle: The Star-Ledger
With my background in sports PR, I always look forward to the Big Game. I was fortunate to work at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa and have huge appreciation for the scale of the game and what it takes for brands to stand out amongst the scrum. There are many captivating story lines going into Sunday – the commercials, the weather, Richard Sherman, the Velveeta shortage. What will live up to the hype and what brands, large and small, will score a “W” for their game day marketing?
Here are the top six things I’ll be watching for Super Bowl week:
- Media Day madness: Super Bowl media day can be as entertaining as the game itself. An estimated 5,000 journalists received media credentials this year, many from outside the sports world. How will the players handle the spotlight? Who will cover media day in the most interesting way? Reporters at media day are often looking to make a name for themselves too, from TV Azteca’s outrageousness, celebrity reporters and even Vice’s, um, unique take. Which outlets will cover the hoopla around the game in clever ways?
- Commercials that live up to the hype. With many advertisers releasing their commercials before the big game, these big ads can be a big bore come game day. I like to watch for the surprises. What brands will hold back releasing their commercial to wow us with that special moment? Which commercials will move beyond water cooler laughs to really impact a brand’s bottom line?
- Breaking through the clutter. Last year, Oreo stole the spotlight with a perfectly crafted tweet sent during the black out. How many brands will replicate Oreo’s real-time marketing with social media command centers this year? With the rise of the second screen, which new digital interrupters will break through?
- Halftime Show. Bruno is certainly no Beyoncé, but the halftime show always delivers buzz. And with all the promotion Pepsi is putting into its halftime sponsorship (did you see that Grammy’s half time commercial featuring Mike Ditka on a wrecking ball???), I’m hoping it delivers. If not on entertainment, then hopefully on some prop bet wins.
- Puppy Bowl. Animal Planet has done a tremendous job turning the Puppy Bowl into adorable counter-programming when the game and ads aren’t delivering. The channel is also upping their PR-game this year with a major coup – Michelle Obama hosted a “training session” for Puppy Bowl participants with first pets Sunny and Bo that will air during the broadcast . How else will this Puppy Bowl encroach on the Big Game’s turf this year?
- FOOD. Whether you are rooting for the Seahawks or Broncos, one thing that will unite all Americans is the grubbing going down on game day. Food media have been feverishly covering Super Bowl snacking. My favorite story is of one Bay Area company combining sports, food and entrepreneurship to make and deliver edible stadiums, as reported by CNN’s Eatocracy. However, the biggest hit at my Super Bowl parties in recent years has been these Oreo-stuffed cookie show stoppers, so maybe Oreo’s real-time marketing efforts have been successful.
What will you be watching for and cooking up for the Big Game? Share your favorite moments, recipes and game day picks in the comments below.