The Big Marketing Strategy Insight from Super Bowl LI: Cross-Platform Marketing


If your company has ever tried to create a memorable marketing campaign that builds engagement and generates leads, then you know that it can be difficult to be both creative and effective. But once a year on Super Bowl Sunday, we all get to enjoy the most expensive efforts put forth in the “Advertising Bowl”  by brands like Snickers, TMobile, 84 Lumber, Honda, and interestingly enough Avocados from Mexico. These brands found success by utilizing not only their $5 million Super Bowl commercial slot, but their digital presence to engage with viewers. Before your company dares to jump on the cross-platform marketing trend, there are a few things you can learn from the Super Bowl’s top advertisers.


Extended Your Audience’s Experience

Encourage your audience to continue their experience on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and/or your company website. By getting viewers to interact beyond the commercial, advertisers were able to engage consumers for a longer period of time.

  • 84Lumber did an excellent job of teasing viewers with an emotionally engaging story of a mother and daughter fleeing Mexico to the United States. Their commercial was a cliff-hanger which encouraged viewers to continue the story online by linking to the company’s “Careers” page at 84Lumber’s ploy ended up generating such high traffic that their server crashed!
  • Avocados from Mexico launched a creative cross-platform campaign of “discover and win” that included a bizarre commercial starring Jon Lovitz and a website app that encouraged click-to-discover elements that led to opportunities to win prizes. As far as engaging with Millennials, Honda took the lead by offering photo filters that changed throughout the course of the game. Sponsored and banner ads were still important elements on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube for driving engagement.

Utilize Hashtags to Track Metrics and Effectiveness of Campaigns

Super Bowl-specific hashtags were integral to several of the advertisers efforts across platforms. Honda wanted to engage users outside of just SnapChat so they employed their #PowerOfDreams linked to their celebrity-studded commercial to promote the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. #AvoSecrets linked to the Avocado from Mexico campaign and let users join the conversation. The company was also quick to reply to Tweets with a link to their interactive website app mentioned above. AirB&B’s #weaccept was trending long after the big game had come to an end showing their campaign, which celebrated acceptance of others, was simple yet it resonated with viewers.  It was also imperative that brands utilized official hashtags of the Super Bowl such as #SBLI to bring the conversation full-circle.

Push Boundaries by Engaging or Shocking Viewers

Snickers took a risk to try and impress viewers with “the first live commercial” supposedly filmed during the ad spot. TMobile shocked users with a naughty 50 Shades of Gray inspired commercial series (two of four commercial slots they held for the Super Bowl) that left viewers feeling awkward. But TMobile also was the only advertiser to utilize real-time engagement by holding a dance contest which had the audience submitting live, homemade content with their official #UnlimitedMoves.

Include a Call-to-Action

With 66 total commercial slots, the best brands had to have an effective call-to-action in order to stand out and get consumers to engage. There were commercials that were funny, or emotional, or otherwise memorable but that failed to implore viewers to take the next step. Whether it’s Learn More, Visit, or Follow, an effective call-to-action gives your audience a clear path to engaging with your brand.


And the Winner is….

TMobile and Avocados from Mexico are being hailed as our marketing winners of the “2017 Advertising Bowl”  because of their effective use of cross-platform marketing. This strategy required them to motivate viewers to engage via social media by using timely hashtags, emerging products like Live Stream and augmented reality filters, and by having two-way conversations.

Now that the big game is over, people will still be talking about the marketing campaigns that won them over for for weeks to come. Is your advertising strategy up to par? If your company is ready to take the step into cross-platform marketing but doesn’t know where to begin, the BlueTreeDigital team can help!