6 Super Bowl LI Social Media Campaigns we Already Love

In just a few days, the biggest televised event of the year will bring people all over the country together to watch the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots fight for the Super Bowl LI championship title in Houston, Texas—unless you’re like me and had to Google “who’s playing in the Super Bowl this year?” While I’m not the biggest fan of football, the marketing geek that I am does love the Super Bowl because it means being entertained and even inspired by some of the best advertisements of the year.

But in recent years, alongside the exponential rise of social, the Super Bowl has become an event where—in order to stay innovative and relevant—brands have to have a social plan in addition to the upwards of millions of dollars they might spend to produce, shoot, and air a seconds-long advertisement. Some brands have created a unique game day #hashtag, others have posted commercial teaser trailers on their website to get viewers excited and involved, and one is even live-streaming a football helmet in a large block of ice. Confused? Read on to find out which brand is showcasing that icy football helmet and how five additional brands are similarly using social to get involved in Super Bowl 51.

Mars Inc.

Much like Hyundai, who is preparing to film its ad during the game and air it right afterwards, Mars Inc. is also attempting to challenge traditional roles for brands during Super Bowl 51. Honing in on their Snickers brand and continuing their “you’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign, Mars will produce and air a 30-second commercial in real-time during the game. While we are excited to see how this live advertisement venture and its subsequent social response unfolds, what we’re especially looking forward to is their 36-hour livestream on their Facebook page, which will start today, Thursday, February 2nd. Because the ad is western-themed, the livestream is planned to be similar to a variety show, featuring celebrities.

Avocados From Mexico

Starring Jon Lovitz, a swirling and hypnotic green background, and the beloved green fruit, Avocados From Mexico’s Super Bowl 51 teaser trailer tells viewers to look out for them in the first quarter. They boast the hashtag #AvoSecrets and a link to a website dedicated specifically to the Big Game and ways fans can get involved. In order to get users involved in the social conversation, they urge consumers to tweet #AvoSecrets and #AvoSweepstakes to unlock “inside secrets and win prizes”.

Wix.com

Starting on January 23rd, Wix.com began their “Melt The Ice” sweeptakes campaign, giving out $10,000 every weekday up until the game where they will give out $50,000. Using Facebook Live, the Wix.com team has an ongoing live-stream of a football helmet in ice. Yes, you read that right.

According to the live video, Wix.com has “placed a helmet in this giant block of ice & when it falls out, we'll have a lucky winner for our HUGE giveaway.” The way to enter? Change your profile pic to Chez Felix, “a business owner in a disrupted world” and the star of their Super Bowl Commercial series, with the first one below already racking up an impressive 3 million views on YouTube.

Skittles

On January 30th, six days before the big game, popular candy brand Skittles tweeted a three-minute long video with the hashtag #TasteTheRainbow in which former American football player for the Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch takes viewers on a tour of Houston—Houston, Scotland that is. Shawn rides a bicycle with a giant bag full of Skittles packages as he chats with different Scottish people about the upcoming Super Bowl. And the success of the video on social has been quite substantial. #TasteTheRainbow has been trending on Twitter, with the video receiving over 2,000 retweets just in the last three days.

PepsiCo

For the 5th year in a row, PepsiCo will be officially sponsoring the Super Bowl Halftime Show, which consistently sees the events’ peak in number of viewers. For context, Super Bowl 2016 reportedly received 115.5 million viewers tuned into the Halftime Show featuring Coldplay and Beyonce. In addition to major sponsorship during the game, PepsiCo announced an extensive digital platform marketing strategy for both during the game and the weeks leading up to the game. Some of these efforts include partnering with Snapchat for live content during the game, a twelve day #FanCountdown to the Halftime Show on Twitter, and even pairing up with Tostitos to film “Super Bowl Party Planner”—a video short starring MVP linebacker Von Miller planning a Super Bowl “the only way he knows how — with Pepsi and Tostitos.” Needless to say, PepsiCo has taken an impressive digital approach on many platforms, paving the path for many other brands to follow.

Mr. Clean

Some brands have chosen to promote their commercials through the use of teaser trailers like Avocados From Mexico. However, Mr. Clean not only teased their ad with a 10-second trailer on Facebook on January 23rd, but also released the official ad they will be airing during the Super Bowl three days later in an attempt to garner more buzz—and it worked. The term “Mr. Clean”, not surprisingly, has seen a huge spike in term usage when the official commercial was released on January 26th. Not to mention, the YouTube video of their ad has already racked up nearly 3,000,000 views.

So while I will not be particularly paying attention to the score of the actual game, you can bet that I’ll be thoroughly tallying through Intelligence which commercials and relevant hashtags have garnered the most impressive social buzz—and, of course, which have made me laugh or cry the most. Make sure to stay tuned for a follow-up Super Bowl 51 blog post to see the results.

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Emma Trapp is a Brand Marketing Intern at Spredfast. A proud UT Longhorn, Emma works with the Brand team to help curate content in an insightful, relevant way. Her job description does not include getting coffee, but does include drinking it.