Digital is the Big Loser of Super Bowl 50
Another Super Bowl has come and gone, and along with it, the $5 Million advertisers paid to reach viewers across the country. But why in 2016, are we still using the 30-60 second commercial the same way we did back in 1966? Technology has drastically evolved and the majority of people that actually watch live TV do so with more than one device within reach. And yet, very few commercials think outside the 30-second bubble they have within that one engagement. Commercials should be the beginning of a larger integration, not the message in its entirety. Reallocate that time as a trailer or a glimpse that introduces the larger world on the other side. Integrated digital campaigns open so many doors that allow people to take charge on their terms, and experience a world where they can become immersed in content beyond the view the director gives them.
Axe, for example, (and I should disclose one of my favorites of the night) made a play on the diversity of their customer, introducing a variety of characters. It was fun, and exciting, and somewhat inspirational. But then they just left me. That was it. Wham, bam, thank you for those 60 seconds of your life, we'll see you around the next time we need you to do something for us. They forfeited an opportunity to keep me interested, drive my attention to their site and willingly return for additional engagements with their brand. For some reason, they were content to end the conversation there.
Hyundai's "First Date" starring Kevin Hart was another one that had me wanting more. How much fun would it have been to see more scenes and antics of an overprotective father? I definitely see something like that being passed around my office this week. There are so many directions something like this could have gone to continue engaging with viewers. From an owned URL, social media, even a couple take overs the day after. But they had their sites set on the Super Bowl, and didn't plan anything beyond that (that we know of at this time). According to the website, Super Bowl Commercials 2016, Hyundai's CMO Dean Evans stated that the company teamed up with [acclaimed directors Peter Berg, Fredrik Bond, Aaron Stoller and Janusz Kaminski] to create "incredibly engaging, memorable ads." And memorable they were. But why not challenge memorable with actionable or immersive? They could have used these acclaimed directors to create incredibly engaging, memorable onmichannel experiences, not just TV ads?
I thought Mini had the most successful attempt at connecting their campaign to expand the story; however, I wish they had made a stronger push from offline to online and helped in making the transition smoother. I would have also preferred to have jumped directly into their online world rather than feeling like there was nothing else to see and/or experience, or that the additional content was merely an afterthought. For their sake, after spending $5 Million to place the spot as well as the production cost, I sure hope more thought was put into it than, let's just get this posted to our site. But I love the stories and how they connected the brand to the celebrities that love the brand. Not just as a paid endorsement, but real people (although famous) that actually use and love the car itself. The stories are inspiring and beautiful, and I found myself wanting more. Each one provides a personal connection with the Mini, elevating it from just another car, to an expression of who they are as individuals. A statement that it's much more than "just" a car. And that connects...
Don't get me wrong; all of these ads were hugely successful in generating buzz. If you do a search today, videos and comments are everywhere and the metrics are through the roof. But that's my point. Think about what could have been. Advertisers missed tremendous opportunities to extend their 30-second investment into 30 minutes, 30 hours or even 30 years and double down on the ROI of their $5 Million spend. They not only had the audience, they had the eyeballs, and 111.9 million people were frantically anticipating every timeout or stoppage of play. Maybe URL's just aren't sexy anymore, or at least not sexy enough for Super Bowls, but know that 82% of people had their smartphone out and accessible and 20% were using either a tablet or computer while watching the game. How many devices did you have out? What about the people watching with you? Digital is here and it's now. It's time to stop running ads like it's 1966.
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