In the instant analysis, last night’s Super Bowl ads are being judged similar to the game itself: a mixed bag. While digestive-issue-themed ads are being mostly panned (OICisDifferent and Xifaxan), wiener dogs dressed as wieners (Heinz) and nostalgia-tinged automotive ads (Jeep) got generally positive responses. The overall consensus seems to be that this year’s crop of ads didn’t have a standout moment.
There was a marketing approach that stood out to me, though. Like millions of other people, I was watching the game with my phone in my hand, bouncing around Twitter and Facebook and other sites to see what people were talking about. In the process, I noticed several Super Bowl TV advertisers using a tactic that we’re big fans of here: supporting their huge TV investment with targeted messages on mobile. Here are some examples:
Here we see Bud Light on Twitter, Turbo Tax on Facebook, and Prius in the CBS Sports app. Other brands backing up their TV spend with mobile included Mountain Dew and Pokemon, and likely many others.
With studies showing that nearly 80% of TV viewers use a second device while watching TV, pairing mobile and TV spots is an emerging tactic for advertisers to get the most impact from their campaigns. If viewers are “meshing,” meaning using their phones to learn more about the content on TV, advertisers get a chance to reinforce their message. If they’re “stacking,” meaning they’re looking at unrelated content, advertisers have a chance to hit parts of the audience that their TV spots would miss.
The Super Bowl is perhaps the easiest example to highlight: brands know precisely when their ads are going to air, the audience on TV and mobile is unmatched, and brands are willing to spend tremendous amounts of money to maximize exposure. But given the targeting capabilities available on mobile today, this pairing of TV and mobile is a tactic that should be in every brand’s playbook — throughout the year.
Audience targeting can be used effectively on Facebook, Twitter, and a wide range of DSPs that place ads in leading apps, and can be built using several different types of data. Advertisers can use basic demographic information tailored to match the demographics of the TV audience being targeted. They can use mobile data on behaviors and characteristics that’s available from DMPs and other data providers. Or they can even use contextual information such as people using a certain hashtag, liking a particular page, or using a specific app.
By choosing the right audience, both through smart TV buys and targeting mobile campaigns, brands can amplify the effectiveness of awareness or performance campaigns—and they don’t have to wait for the Super Bowl.