Each year more companies try to jump on the bandwagon with Super Bowl advertisements. The challenge is that not all companies can afford to purchase a time slot for the Super Bowl, which projected to cost $4 million for 30 seconds of air time in 2014. Coupled with production costs for these commercials, it’s clear that only the biggest names in the industry can afford these price tags. To get around these extravagant prices, companies create an event that helps them enter the Super Bowl conversation without actually being part of the event’s roster of TV commercials. This year, Jones Soda aims to do just that with their commercial contest. Given that Jones Soda only plans to release their commercial on their website during Super Bowl halftime, how can they generate enough attention to make this truly worth it for them? Beyond the problem of creating enough awareness for this ad, the heart of the issue is whether this is even a good idea for the premium craft soda brewery.
Discussing the problem first, Jones Soda must explore more methods to raise awareness than a website commercial during Super Bowl halftime. Viewers are used to looking at multiple screens during the game but the most expensive Super Bowl TV commercials are during halftime. Most eyeballs focus on the TV screen during halftime and not on phones, tablets, or laptops. Migrating people to a second screen for their commercial will be a challenge unless they have a TV presence to funnel viewers online. Since the original challenge is the cost of getting on television, Jones Soda must ramp up their social media engagement to circumvent this problem. At the time of writing their current Twitter handle (@jonessodaco) didn’t show that many tweets about making a commercial.
To create more attention for the crowdsourced commercial, Jones Soda should release a subset of their preferred commercials before the game. They should ask their Facebook fans or Twitter followers to vote for the best among the five and publish the tally to create more awareness and competition. Leveraging the commercial’s creators to ask for votes will help Jones Soda get the word out to a broader audience. This increases everyone’s attention for Jones Soda, and earns them more free publicity. For a company that asks the public to send in photos for their soda bottles, this tactic would be right in line with generating strong levels of engagement.
Regardless of how much attention Jones Soda could generate for their Super Bowl commercial, is this even a good idea? It would be – but only if Jones Soda is in a position to react quickly based on Super Bowl events. Companies that benefit are those that react the fastest based on Super Bowl events. Coca-Cola had created two versions of their polar bear ads and would air only version depending on the winner of the Super Bowl. SodaStream benefited from releasing a banned version of their ad online while also releasing a toned version for the Super Bowl. Oreo, Tide, Audi, and a host of companies capitalized on the Super Bowl blackout that occurred back in 2013.
Simply releasing a commercial on their website without seeding strong engagement beforehand is a miss. Jones Soda differentiates itself as a consumer-oriented company with people submitting pictures for their soda labels. Releasing a Super Bowl commercial should be the same thing. Asking consumers to submit videos is good, and having them create awareness of these videos for you is even better. With Super Bowl days away, Jones Soda can still make some changes to make this event work harder for them. To win big, Jones Soda needs to be proactive right now, and quick to react on February 1st just like Oreo did back in 2013.
[tweet https://twitter.com/Oreo/status/298246571718483968 ]