While 2018 was one of the best-recorded years for NFL regular season viewing, this year’s Super Bowl aired on Sunday and viewership was at a 10-year low. Low game scores for both the Rams and the Pats was one big reason for the lack of excitement, but also the fact that majorly hyped commercials are now leaked before the big game and brands aren’t capitalizing on the second screen—when most watchers are scrolling through social sites while watching the game. Brands with fun and relevant campaigns, videos, and social interactions were able to connect with viewers and non-viewers alike. Which brands got a touchdown on mobile and which brands missed the goal entirely? Let’s start with our third-string and work up to the Tom Brady of this year’s lineup.
Volvo’s Longest Drive Campaign
Spun off a failed Mercedez-Benz campaign that we coincidentally wrote about last year, Volvo’s Longest Drive campaign asked fans to activate a mobile site that challenged them to keep their eyes on a slowly-moving car for as long as possible, using the viewer’s camera to track. Winners had a chance to win a Care by Volvo subscription to their S60 sport sedan and Twitter users tweeted about the mobile site not working while trying to play. Volvo made a repeated fumble from Mercedez’s first go around and should’ve made sure their site was mobile-ready.
Domino’s Pizza Promo
In an effort to encourage more app downloads, Domino’s is running a promotion where pizza-lovers can take a photo of a pizza to earn points that can buy you a free Domino’s pizza. Apparently, any pizza will be eligible for points earning and it doesn’t have to specifically be a Domino’s! AI-technology engrained in the app will be able to recognize the pizza with a photo, much like how Facebook knows which person is your mom in your most recent upload. This campaign is in lieu of any Super Bowl TV ad spending, where they’ve typically done pretty well in past years by using ad agencies for engaging commercials.
DoorDash + BJ’s
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery chain partnered up with DoorDash this Super Bowl to connect with fans that had a late night celebrating a Pats win or nursing a Rams loss. Playing on the rumored 14 million Americans that call in “sick” to work on the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday, the promo offers free delivery and a free dessert to 200 of BJ’s locations in the US, if ordered through DoorDash. Their targeted strategy is mostly aimed at the younger millennial working force, 77 percent of which order food delivery on a regular basis. The tongue-in-cheek message resounded with app-savvy consumers that might not have tried BJ’s without the offer. A major mobile win!
The game might’ve been a hit or miss for viewers, but brands continually are integrating technology functions into every part of their marketing campaigns, including voice and mobile. I think next year, I’ll just ask my Amazon Echo to let me know when someone besides the Patriots scores.