The Super Bowl and other huge television viewing events, like the Oscars, offer great opportunities for advertisers and mobile marketers. Many of the major Super Bowl advertisers, such as Audi, are expected to incorporate social media and SMS marketing in their ads this year, acknowledging how important these two channels have become for engaging consumers and extending traditional media’s capabilities. Even if you haven’t plopped down $3 million for a 30-second spot during the big game, though, you can still capitalize on the enormous reach of these high profile television events (the Super Bowl was viewed by over 100 million people last year, and more than 41 million viewers tuned into the Academy Awards).
Most people when watching television have their mobile phones or smartphones with them, and they use their mobile devices to connect with friends or do mobile Web searches. (This is part of the reason why advertising text message marketing campaigns on television is so effective.) The Super Bowl may be the quintessential representative of how the mobile phone has become an integral part of our television viewing experience. A report from Mobile Marketer indicates that smartphone usage during the Super Bowl could be more than double that of computer usage, and 59 percent of smartphone users will be sending mobile emails or text messages about the game, 32 percent updating their status on social networks, 18 percent checking out online ads, and another 18 percent visiting advertiser web sites (yes, nearly 1 out of ever 5 respondents actually plans to engage with advertising at this time).
Targeting Your SMS and Mobile Ads During High Profile Events
Super Bowl spots — and even a commercial during the Oscars, estimated at around $1.4 million — are incredibly expensive, though. Mobile campaigns, by contrast, not only reach more devices (3 billion phones worldwide versus 1.5 television sets), but cost significantly less; whether you use a self-serve platform or have a dedicated mobile agency, you can choose to spend as much or as little as you want, e.g., $20,000 for a simple SMS marketing campaign. And you can target specific locations or demographics, in addition to advertising nationally with SMS marketing. Promote your product or service during the high profile event and your message is likely to be read and — if the offer is of value to the recipient — passed around. If you can tie in your offer or product/service to the show, even better.
- Before the Super Bowl, other major sports event, the Academy Awards, or other television show which people tend to watch together, send a special offer to your SMS marketing subscribers for a discount off of your related product (e.g., party supplies, beverage or snack, sports gear, etc.)
- You could also do a quick SMS voting campaign where subscribers can choose their favorite television ad or which team or actor, etc., will win, and drive voters to your mobile website for the results (and more information about your brand).
- SMS contests or sweepstakes should see a lot of uptake at these times too: users can enter the “Your Widgets Super Bowl Sweepstakes”, for example, for a chance for a free widget. As sports sponsorship today proves (e.g., the “T-Mobile NBA Half Time Report”), most types of products can be associated with sports events just in title alone..
Not all messages need to be related to the particular show, however. You can promote a seasonal offer, such as a winter car tune-up or Valentine’s Day dinner special, during these prime mobile usage times as well. The main idea is that when people are watching television, there’s a high likelihood that they’ll be using their mobile phones or ready to pick up a targeted text message.
Great TV and Mobile Usage Events
Besides the Super Bowl (first week in Feb.) and the Academy Awards (Feb. 27 this year), other high profile television events include:
- The MLB World Series
- FIFA World Cup
- The New Years’ Eve ball drop
- Thanksgiving Day parade
- Special television performances, premieres, or series finales
You can finely plan your mobile marketing to take advantage of these high viewership events, as well as specific programming that makes the most sense for your brand or client.