You Don’t Need a Big Budget to Win During the Big Game

The Denver Broncos won the 2016 Super Bowl yesterday, but there was no clear winner in the TV brand bowl. There may not have been a clear winner in the brand bowl because many advertisers shifted their dollars to digital and social media this year. A few years ago, the ads that would premiere during the Super Bowl were just as exciting as the game. Now, with the rise of social media, many brands have begun releasing their ads via YouTube and Facebook before the game airs live. It is a shift that will likely continue happening more as social media continues to prove its reach and worth to brands.

Pantene won big before the game by releasing 4 short spots featuring NFL players doing their daughters hair. The campaign branded #daddo went viral in a day and garnered industry attention. The campaign was widely shared on Facebook. Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter were the platforms where consumers were the most engaged during the game. Facebook held steady as always, but wasn’t a place of truly inspiring content during the game. Instagram reps reported that 38 million people engaged with the app’s Super Bowl-related content 155 million times on Sunday. Snapchat allows brands to show their ads for a much cheaper price tag than the primetime game. With these growing digital platforms, advertisers are able to get their message in front of the same audience for half the cost or less.

snapchat football


During the big game, Instagram is great for quick videos and static images. Have a mix of polished images as well as images that will blend into consumers’ timelines. Something that will look like it belongs and their friends may have posted it. With Instagram you can see what is trending and use that hashtag to get more eyes on your content. Trending topics may inspire you to create a new piece of content that is shareable and engaging to your audience.

If you have the budget, it’s best to have promoted posts leading up the game and then ride the engagement wave with regular posts during the game.


With Snapchat brands can not only show their 15 second commercial on live and existing channels, but help consumers create branded content. Advertisers can do this by using branded filters. Gatorade had a fun video filter that allowed consumers to pure a bucket of Gatorade over their heads. Pouring Gatorade over the winning coaches head is a signature of the big game. It was a perfect integration and used by millions of users or seen by the ones who missed it. Deadpool the movie also had a popular static branded filter.

Another way to get your brand on this platform is to have influencers integrate your brand message into their story. Many brands used influencers they have existing campaigns with while others did one day campaigns for the game.


Branded “Deadpool” Snapchat Filter from the Superbowl


When you want to get into the live conversation about the game, you need to get on Twitter. You have to have someone ready to jump on any trending topic. That means have a writer and a creator handy to jump on a moment like Oreo did when the lights went out a few years ago. For this platform, you can have static images ready to push out during key periods such as halftime and time outs. Create content you know fits with these moments and will be relevant to the consumers that will see it at that moment.

Remember, you don’t need a big game budget to win during the big game. That holds true any time of the year. Engaging content will always win and always breakthrough to consumers. Agility is the key. Have content ready that you know will work, but be able to adapt to what is actually happening during the game. You never know what little moment may steal the show and you don’t want to miss the chance to capitalize on it. Even with a small budget, you can score big!


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