In case you missed it, YouTube launched a gallery of Super Bowl XLVIII ad teasers on January 21 featuring previews of seven ads from Pepsi, Bud Light, Squarespace, Doritos, Intuit Small Business, Volkswagen and Butterfinger set to debut during this year’s big game. While teasing Super Bowl ads isn’t new, it’s yet another way video marketing is being used to engage fans and increase brands’ reach.
As the number-two search engine in the world, there’s no denying YouTube’s popularity as a video marketing tool. Among those who have experienced great success with YouTube marketing – big games aside – is Johnson & Johnson, whose video channel features a broad range of videos covering health, family and corporate social responsibility. In the Super Bowl realm, Doritos has experienced continued success with YouTube, asking people to submit and vote on which crowdsourced videos they want used in the snack brand’s Super Bowl ads. This year’s theme? Crash the Super Bowl.
With many Super Bowl ads available for preview before game day, one is left to question if the greater ROI will come from pre-game video marketing or the actual game day spots. Interestingly, reports indicate last year’s previewed Super Bowl ads were watched more than 80 million times on YouTube leading up to the game, accounting for more than 1/3 of their total YouTube views. Further, Anheuser-Busch reports its 2013 “Brotherhood” ad had garnered nearly six million views on YouTube just one day after the game.
More than a YouTube video
While not part of the YouTube preview gallery, Oikos – Dannon’s Greek yogurt brand – has let the cat out of the bag, sharing a sneak peek of its “Full House”-inspired spot featuring John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier. Moving beyond a preview, the teaser video directs viewers to OikosBromance.com, which houses more videos.
Dannon’s Super Bowl marketing rollout comes at an interesting time, having run its first game day ad in 2012 but skipping 2013, and with competitor Chobani set to make its Super Bowl advertising debut with a 60-second spot. The New York Times reports this spot, like Oikos, is also part of a larger digital and social media campaign.
$4 million… well spent?
With Super Bowl ads rates continuing to rise, this year’s 30-second spots cost an estimated $4 million (compared to $3.8 million in 2013). And that doesn’t include production costs, nor does it account for money spend on microsites and other campaign components. While advertisers are smart to try and get more mileage – and marketing ROI – out of what they hope is a creative home-run, could the same success be achieved without the television push and its accompanying spend?
While 2013 was the year of crowdsourcing Super Bowl ad content – and Doritos will follow that model again in 2014 – what lies ahead? Will the continued growth of Instagram and Vine lead to brands sourcing 2015 ad content from these popular social networks?
As social media marketing becomes a larger component of brands’ Super Bowl marketing plans and an increasing number of ads make their pre-game debuts on YouTube, one question remains: at what point does Super Bowl advertising become more about strong social tie-ins and creative video previews and less about watching a multi-million dollar spot air during the big game?