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COVID-19 and Advertising During Super Bowl LV

February 10, 2021
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Because of the challenges faced by the advertising industry over the last year, preparing for Super Bowl LV was unlike years prior. Many brands were unable or unwilling to make the investment required for a commercial during one of the biggest events of the year. In fact, in 2020, a 30-second commercial cost more than $5 million. Instead, they chose to take a step back, readjust, and try something they’ve never done before. Continue reading to learn how some of our clients pivoted to drive results without spending millions.

The Opportunity

Rather than going the traditional route of a TV commercial, many brands, our clients included, invested in paid social and online video. With premium placements omitted, many brands focused their efforts on biddable media. Despite increased competition, Code3’s Super Bowl LV data shows the average CPM was down 15% YoY on Google’s AdWords. This indicates user activity on social platforms has increased and the opportunity to make an impact is now.

The Difference

Unlike TV, paid social platforms are uniquely positioned with audience targeting capabilities. This makes it possible to reduce the risk of wasted impressions. Advertisers can make sure every paid impression reaches a core or target consumer who will be most likely to convert. 

Brands can also personalize their messaging at scale. This is a major advantage compared to TV ads that serve the general public. As Code3 data shows, personalization drives proven performance. In fact, on average, our clients' personalized ads result in 44% greater engagement rates. 

Finally, another benefit to investing in paid social platforms is the ability to test, learn, and iterate in real-time. We recommend launching several variations of creative to identify what resonates most with consumers. From there, it's possible to scale and more accurately measure the impact of each advertisement. Amidst the Super Bowl, Code3 clients increased their reach by running ads before, during, and after the game across both paid social and TV. As a result, they were able to generate more views in comparison to a single TV ad that would air only once.

How Can We Take Super Bowl LV Strategies Into The Rest of 2021

To elevate performance in 2021, advertisers can leverage learnings from their Super Bowl LV strategies. A tactic that has improved resonance and engagement for our clients is their effort to remain relevant and speak to trending topics. 

One example is Bud Light and their messaging about making Bud Light Lemonade from 2020’s lemons. Budweiser also announced they were donating toward the COVID-19 vaccine efforts, and Jeep spoke to a divided America. These brands earned additional attention from having a pulse of the times. 

Assets and storylines don't have to be brand new to remain timely, they can simply be adjusted. Optimizing pre-existing assets allows advertisers to take advantage of timely opportunities at a lower cost. To improve return, Code3 account teams work with clients to identify which platforms and placements have driven the best performance. Then we scale accordingly. 

During uncertain times, it's important to lean into what works, test offerings from our platform partners, and plan in advance. Should you need any additional support, or be curious about how Code3 can help position your brand for success, please reach out. We’re here to support you and answer any questions you may have.

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