Super Bowl Marketing From A Marketer’s Perspective

What do Super Bowl and Christmas have in common? They are both seasons of frenzy in the marketing world. Super Bowl is the holiday season of football fans. And the most-awaited advertising season for marketers. But how did this happen? Everything has a backstory, right? In this blog, we are going to look back, front, and forward into Super Bowl Marketing. About the story behind how an annual sports event got to a place where it has brands spending millions to get an ad spot.  

Super Bowl rings a different tone in the ears of a marketer. After all, the journey of an annual playoff game growing into an iconic brand and the brilliant marketing opportunities it brings with it are both exciting to marketers. Have you ever wondered how this happened? Then you are in the right place. Let’s do some digging into the evolution of Super Bowl as a brand and its much-debated logo history. After that let’s also talk about the Super Bowl marketing opportunities that marketers look forward to every year. 

How Super Bowl progressed to revolutionize sports culture 

The above image shows Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the venue where the first-ever Super Bowl game was held. 

Back in 1966, when the merger between NFL and AFL happened, a championship game was planned. This was the AFL–NFL World Championship Game or Super Bowl I. The first game was not exactly a knock-out in terms of ticket sales. Whereas in 2022 over 99.18 million people tuned in to watch the game on TV in the U.S. alone. That’s how much has changed. This is proof of the Super Bowl marketing finesse. 

A lot changed since the first game. Slowly halftime events became a memorable component of Super Bowl. And ads featured during Super Bowl sometimes became as popular as the games themselves. The evolution of Super Bowl as a brand can be safely attributed to the many sponsorships and successful partnerships it has had over the years. 

That said we can also say that Super Bowl the brand has benefitted from its sponsors and ads as much as the sponsors have benefited from the game. Hard to believe? A survey conducted by The Marketing Arm revealed that about 43% of the viewers watch the games for the commercials featured. This symbiotic phenomenon is definitely a topic of interest to any marketer or entrepreneur. And we are going to discuss that at length. Let’s start with the Super Bowl brand – its brand identity to be precise. 

Super Bowl Marketing – the logo dispute

A logo is an unmissable essence of a brand. So, let’s talk about the Super Bowl logo and the way it has evolved over the years. Well, some might argue that it has regressed but let’s not get into that argument. 

Sports logos are a whole different topic. Because they are what represent your team. They are what build your brand. They are meant to capture the spirit of the game and strike the right chord with the advertisers/sponsors involved. 

According to journalist Jordan Heck, the Super Bowl logos “used to be creative each year” in the past. Well, we can’t entirely deny the fact that the recent versions of the Super Bowl logos look plain. But given that the Super Bowl marketing strategies have changed drastically, we do get the fact that the brand aims at standardizing. The brand is looking to create a solid identity, a memorable design that is fuss-free and easy to remember. See for yourself. What do you think of the recent logos? 

Super Bowl logos – what changed 

Let’s look at some of the Super Bowl logos and understand what has changed. 

The below image shows the first-ever Super Bowl logo from 1967. Back then it was the “AFL–NFL World Championship Game”. 

The 1969 Super Bowl logo featured the trademarked “Super Bowl” name. 

The 1979 Super Bowl XIII logo was the first one to feature the name of the venue in its logo. Just a decade since the first game – see how much the logo changed. 

In the late ’80s and early ‘90s that the Super Bowl logo started getting more colorful and ornate. Most of them carried an illustration or a symbol added as a nod to the venue where the event was hosted that year. For example, the logo of Super Bowl from 1987 featured a rose representing the Rose Bowl Stadium where the event was hosted that year. 

The 2011 game was the first one to introduce the current version of the logo that features the Vince Lombardi Trophy. 

Can you see the drastic shift from using a spectrum of colors, illustrations, and bold fonts to a minimalistic, modern, and more professional design? So what happened? In 2011, Super Bowl announced a new brand strategy and started working with a graphic design firm, Landor for its logo design. This was because the brand chose to create a repeatable and easily recognizable logo system that fans can instantly connect with. 

At the end of the day, aligning your logo with your brand strategy is what works after all! 

Super Bowl and advertising – the relationship every marketer needs to understand 

The fact that the iconic computer, Macintosh, that revolutionized the world of personal computers was released in an iconic Super Bowl says enough about the significance of advertising during the event. 

Well, back in 1967 when the first Super Bowl was held, brands had to spend $42,000 for a 30-second spot during the TV broadcast of the event. Fast-forward to 2022, similar 30-second spots were reportedly selling for $6.5 million

While that might be bigger than the annual marketing budget for some businesses. why exactly do companies spend millions of dollars on a single ad spot? We’ll tell you. 

What happens to conversations during the Super Bowl season? They all have football in them, in some form. People talk about the games. People talk about the ads. And when they do, they are talking about the brands behind the ads. That’s how you get people to notice your brand and start talking about it. That kind of awareness and buzz is what brands crave. They are priceless in marketing. That’s why Super Bowl marketing has a special place. 

Kimp Tip: The fact that 30-second features during a Super Bowl game made all the impact a brand could make is proof that short-form videos are not a new thing in marketing. So, start incorporating more short-form videos in your marketing strategy if you haven’t already. 

And just in case you need some help creating short-form videos, the Kimp Video subscription is just a click away. 

Iconic Super Bowl commercials worth a mention 

What better way to understand the advertising mania surrounding Super Bowl than to discuss some of the ads that made the most buzz?! 

1. Coca-Cola’s Hey Kid, Catch – 1979 

The Clio Award winning ad from Coca-Cola earned so much popularity in 1979 that it went on to be reaired many times during the Super Bowl the next year. 

Kimp Tip: 

The ad worked because:

  • The concept was simple enough for all kinds of customers to understand.
  • There was a strong emotional value to the ad. 

These are two important ingredients to add to your ads. 

2. Snickers commercial featuring Betty White – 2010

The above ad featuring Betty White grew to be one of the most spoken-about commercials from the 2010 Super Bowl. Fans loved Betty White a little more from this ad. 

Kimp Tip:

The ad worked because:

  • The message is in line with Snicker’s witty tone of voice in advertising.
  • Humor, when executed well, works well in marketing. 
  • Influencers, a celebrity in this case, can give a boost to your brand. 
3. Cadillac Super Bowl commercial – 2021

The ad was a smart and touching rendering of Edward Scissorhands with a modern twist. It puts a fresh spin on the whole concept of “hands-free” driving. Super Bowl marketing is about coming up with novel ideas that have your audience hooked. And Cadillac does that perfectly in the above ad. 

Kimp Tip: 

The ad worked because:

  • Of course, the creative and unique idea. 
  • The ad tells a story – and storytelling is a strategy that never fails in marketing. 

Why Super Bowl commercials work 

There are many reasons for this but we’ll give you a few good ones to ponder over: 

  • Want to grab eyeballs? Super Bowl makes it easy for you. Gaining visibility and falling into the radar of a larger audience base is often a struggle. The answer to this comes with the massive viewership of Super Bowl games. 
  • Super Bowl commercials help create a buzz around new product launches. Like Pop Tart did with its Pop-Tarts – Fixed the Pretzel 2020 commercial. 
  • Companies see a massive increase in brand recall. And that’s a tough parameter to crack. According to Nielson, based on the Super Bowl commercial success of a food and beverage brand, the ad recall from the campaign was 80% higher than the recall from the other TV ad investments by the brand. 

What if you cannot shell out the big bucks for an ad spot during Super Bowl?

Based on Deloitte’s CMO Survey report from September 2022, businesses are spending 13.8% of their total budget on marketing. Does this amount accommodate a massive spend on a Super Bowl ad? If not, you still do not have to miss the limelight. There are other ways in which you can join the craze and help your brand get noticed. Here are some ideas, to begin with: 

Social media to your rescue. 

Even NFL uses social media to talk about important event updates and announcements on the official Super Bowl page. 

So, if you are doubting the effectiveness of using social media to appeal to football fans this Super Bowl season, don’t. 

Blog about it 

Long-form content like blogs has its own perks when it comes to marketing. And they can definitely help their bit in Super Bowl marketing campaigns for brands. 

You can come up with insightful posts connecting your niche to Super Bowl. Or if there was a notable trend with respect to your industry, you can focus on that as well. 

Blog image design by Kimp  

Kimp Tip: With a blog at hand it is easy to come up with a connected social media post to boost traffic. Creating custom images for your blog and related visuals for your social media adds more depth to your campaign. 

With Kimp subscriptions you get a designated team of designers. So, your designs are more visually consistent and aligned with your brand. 

Create Super Bowl focused campaigns 

Football fans end up celebrating Super Bowl games like a festival. So, there is a lot of shopping happening around this time. According to NRF, about 79% of the spending goes into food and beverages. People also spend on apparel, TVs, decorations, and furniture. After all, people are looking to throw weekend parties and gather their friends around. Football vibes best when you watch it with your friends right? So, tap into this increased purchase during the Super Bowl season and create limited-time offers on relevant products. 

Social media design by Kimp 
If nothing else appeals to you, consider partnerships 

Partnered ads are not too common but they are not new either. Just that not many brands make use of them. Newcastle Brown Ale came up with a brilliant cross-promotion strategy. In its humorous promotional video released prior to the 2015 Super Bowl season, the brand was seen calling for brands to pool in the budget for a single Super Bowl ad spot. This was a smart take on the sharing economy. “Why should just the big brands have all the fun?” Makes perfect sense, don’t you think? 

Newcastle’s Band of Brands is a unique Super Bowl ad that shows how brands with a limited budget can still get the spotlight on them, even if it is just for a brief few seconds. 

With Kimp’s designs, go score a touchdown in your campaigns this Super Bowl season 

Brands are spending millions of dollars for a single ad spot in Super Bowl. But with an omnichannel presence and the right strategies, you don’t have it. Create image and video ads that speak for your brand. Start football conversations. Talk to your audience about the game. Use the opportunity to humanize your brand. For all this and more you need strong brand-relevant graphics. That’s where Kimp can help. A single subscription, a fixed monthly bill can get you all the designs you need for your last-minute campaign plans. 

Sign up for a free trial to see how Kimp works.