The Super Bowl may be the biggest mass-reach media event around, but it’s also increasingly seen as a gold mine for brands eager to build one-on-one relationships and first-party consumer databases, particularly as personal digital identifiers go away.
While using a mass event to build precision marketing may seem a contradiction, it’s not necessarily. Super Bowl ads generate big, if usually short-lived, spikes in search, e-commerce sales and traffic to brand websites, even when brands don’t try to capture the data. But given the cost of being in the game, pegged at around $7 million for a 30-second spot this year, not having a data strategy attached to the plan looks like a waste.
This year, such brands as Avocados From Mexico, Unilever’s Hellmann’s, and Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Michelob either have stated plans to use the game to help build first-party relationships or have elements surrounding their Super Bowl appearances that clearly will do that.
Last year, Kimberly-Clark Corp.’s Huggies saw collecting first-party data as an important part of the unusual appearance for its baby care brand in the game. Even though the brand was reaching far more people than could conceivably be thinking of conceiving, expecting or having babies, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer Zena Arnold said the game was also meant “to drive our larger data-driving marketing strategy by incorporating a lot of messaging and engagement through digital channels, social media and our website.”
And it turns out Huggies was among last year’s top brands at generating website visits—and presumably first-party relationships—according to data from SimilarWeb. Even as of November, Huggies website traffic was still running 12.9% ahead of the year before, according to SimilarWeb.