As the Super Bowl approaches, so do the time-honored ads that will accompany it. Advertisers aren't just turning to the game itself to capitalize, however. Many are turning to the web to get some mileage out of the event. The History Channel, for example, has turned to Yahoo, and will be running ads for a new Larry the Cable Guy show on Yahoo Sports to capitalize on the inevitable Super Bowl fan traffic.
We conducted a Q&A on the subject with Mitch Spolan, Yahoo VP of North American Field Sales. "The Super Bowl is such a unique situation," he tells WebProNews. "It's the one time a year where consumers plan to watch the commercials as much as they watch the game. As consumers, we expect great advertising during the Super Bowl, and companies are rewarded and penalized based on their creativity."
"Online allows advertisers to compliment their broadcast investment with campaigns that continue to live on well beyond the 30 seconds," he adds. "While the Super Bowl is powerful for its tremendous audience reach, advertisers have the ability to reach the SAME super-sized audience every day online with marquee creative. There no longer is the need to wait for one day a year to have massive audience. Advertisers control when and how they interact with their Super Bowl audience everyday online."
Super Bowl commercials have something of a following on their own. I know people who don't even care about the game, but like to see the new ads. How can a brand capture this kind of enthusiasm for advertising online?
"At Yahoo!, we're constantly innovating new advertising formats that open up the creative canvas to our advertising partners' imaginations," Spolan tells us. "For example, when you come to one of the Yahoo! Sports properties during the Super Bowl, you're going to find an ad that captures your attention with a narrative that's as or even more compelling and engaging than those on TV. Online advertising also opens up other possibilities such as interactive and social sharing capabilities that can extend the brand's message even further than a TV spot. Brands that combine creativity with smart use of the Web's inherent advantages are the ones that enhance their storytelling ability and build experiences that stay with the consumer."
If you're wondering what your own starting point should be if you're considering your own Super Bowl-related advertising, Spolan has some thoughts on that.
"First, anytime a brand is looking to capitalize on the excitement of big event like the Super Bowl, it should choose to work with a site that will be a destination for consumers well before and even after the event," he says. "The campaign that HISTORY channel is running for "Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy" on Yahoo! Sports is a good model for this. The network's campaign begins to run on February 3, when excitement for all things Super Bowl will be at a fever pitch, and runs through February 11.
"The Super Bowl, like other culturally significant events on the calendar, is among Yahoo!'s biggest traffic drivers, and accordingly, consumers will be eager for post-game analysis from all angles," he says. "There's great value to reaching the significant audience that will visit Yahoo! Sports, which is still the #1 sports destination online, for that coverage."
The example would appear to illustrate a useful tactic for capitalizing on physical world events by reaching those interested online in the places they are likely to go. It doesn't have to be on the scale of the Super Bowl or have the reach of Yahoo Sports to be a potentially successful strategy.