When it comes to winning the big game for brands, it can be tricky to stand out. We’ve all seen the weird spots with kitschy sayings, animals, and top talent. Now, more than ever, people are watching two screens at the same time. You’ve got your television showing a game that needed more excitement and your phone filled with opportunities to connect and talk with others and make purchases.
In the past, we’ve seen our fair share of standout performances on social media (shoutout to Oreo), but what brands capitalized on the Super Bowl this past Sunday? Our DEGeniuses share their favorites.
Bed Bath & Beyond hilarious
Following the halftime performance of Maroon 5, Bed Bath & Beyond took the opportunity to plug its home décor with a pattern matching Adam Levine’s tank top.
“To me, from a social perspective, this stood out because the brand had an easy, valid tie in to the Super Bowl halftime show, when normally it might not have a natural tie. It also just made me laugh out loud because that tank top is hideous, but it makes for decent curtains and throw pillows.” — Abby Eckel, social media strategist
Frisbee’s targeted message
“I think as a brand, it’s important to still be watching, even if you can’t necessarily participate, or even speak about the Super Bowl because you’re not a sponsor.” — Abby Eckel, social media strategist
Ultimate frisbee is a community, and Sunday night the U.S. community received a surprise video message from its governing body, USA Ultimate.
It’s halftime…on OUR journey to 100 years as a sport.
Long Live Sunday Pick-Up Games.
Long Live Big Moments.
Long Live Ultimate.#LiveUltimate #PullTogether #50YearsofUltimate #SuperBowl #NFL100 #SuperBowlAds pic.twitter.com/vifM2WfXIe
— USA Ultimate (@USAUltimate) February 4, 2019
“I play ultimate and this halftime tweet was amazing. Not only did USAU capitalize on Super Bowl night, but also during a halftime that left much to be desired. The audience for this video may not be as big as the TV viewers or any other brand’s social media audiences, but I think it was a great play to post it when USAU did. The video celebrates the sports 50 years and its established social network of players who—when we pull together—can achieve anything.” — Jordan Warren, marketing copywriter
Whacky Moon Pie commercials
If you’ve followed Moon Pie’s social media accounts (if you haven’t, what are you on social media for if not for weird/sarcastic brand interactions?), Moon Pie has built up a reputation as a brand with a sense of humor and presence as out there as the orbiting rock that gives the snack its name.
Last year, Moon Pie took to Twitter to release whacky scripts for what the brand said would have been its Super Bowl ads should they have had time to make them. This year? The brand continued the gag by actually creating commercials from the scripts. And it was bizarrely glorious.
— MoonPie (@MoonPie) February 4, 2019
“This was a smart move on a number of levels. It fits the brand’s voice perfectly—providing what fans of the brand have come to expect—continues on a theme that fans would remember from last year, and by doing everything on social, gathered a ton of awareness and engagement for a fraction of the price a TV spot would have cost. Not to mention the quirkiness of the campaign likely would not have worked nearly as well on TV as it did on social.” — Kyle Davis, senior marketing communications specialist
A random brand-filled conversation
Wendy’s is known for its social media conversations—from National Roast Day to buzz-worthy, quick-fire tweets that resulted in the most retweeted tweet of all time #nuggsforcarter. And many other brands have tried to join those conversations without much success, until now.
Pop-Tarts and Wendy’s have had talks before, but this past Sunday it became a little bit more.
“I follow both brands because they’re equally hilarious on Twitter. But what caught my eye during the game was the continuation of the conversation. Back and forth each brand went, articulating what a lot of TV viewers were thinking—the game was a dud. Instead of pushing products, the brands’ Twitter accounts made plans to dip on the game and hang out, frosties, tarts, and all. Sometimes you just want brands to act like humans and I think they both did a great job.” — Jordan Warren, marketing copywriter
Two funny real-time reactions
Both the Snickers and Mercedes-Benz USA Twitter accounts capitalized on real-time reactions for both their products. Snickers used its current brand packaging as commentary throughout the game, including when it acknowledged the lack of excitement. Mercedes-Benz USA used its new A-Class model to react to other brands’ Super Bowl spots, but one reaction went even further by calling out the boring game in its own named stadium.
“It’s all about following the conversation happening on social media and being able to insert your brand when the timing is right. You don’t have to have a big budget to do something memorable.” — Abby Eckel, social media strategist
“These brands both held commentary throughout the game, using their products without the big ad spend on a TV spot. While the Snickers hungry campaign makes sense with most of the commentary, Mercedes-Benz USA took the time to try to engage with other brands while touting its new car. But the tweet pictured was a quick-fire reaction that, sadly, was deleted. When you think Mercedes-Benz, you don’t conjure up the comment. While clever, it spoke out against the $324-million contract the brand has for naming rights on the Atlanta stadium.” — Jordan Warren, marketing copywriter
How to use social media to your Super Bowl advantage
“I think as a brand, it’s important to still be watching, even if you can’t necessarily participate, or even speak about the Super Bowl because you’re not a sponsor. Things happen during the game, commercials, halftime, etc., that a brand could still capitalize on. It’s all about following the conversation happening on social media and being able to insert your brand when the timing is right. You don’t have to have a big budget to do something memorable.” — Abby Eckel, social media strategist