Super Bowl LIV spotlight: The real ad winners ran more than TV

February 4th, 2020 | Laura Ziemer

This year’s Super Bowl competition brought the heat with action-packed excitement that lasted all four quarters, paying dividends for brands no matter which quarter their ad aired. The real winners (other than the Chiefs!) were those who considered the new Super Bowl viewing experience – one with multi-device engagement, viewership on streaming platforms, and friends connecting both live and via social media during the game.

In our coverage of the 2019 Super Bowl, Comperemedia predicted that this year, brands would invest more in the omnichannel experience to extend their $5 million investments as far as possible. 

Several brands, such as Doritos, invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote their spots on social media ahead of the game, while some brands eschewed the TV spot altogether.

Mint Mobile owner Ryan Reynolds announced in a full-page New York Times ad and on the company’s website that instead of spending $5 million on a Super Bowl spot, it would use that money to give all members three months of premium wireless coverage. Reynolds gets a lot of attention for his innovative marketing strategies and this is no exception: the absence of an ad carries more weight than if Mint Mobile had run a spot during the game. 

Squarespace launched – the website Winona Ryder promoted in its spot. Beyond exploring her site, visitors can purchase a limited-edition book of photography, with all proceeds benefiting the American Indian College Fund. Squarespace also offered all Winona residents a free year of Squarespace. This innovative approach honors Winona’s community and encourages viewers to engage with the brand over time.

In lieu of a Super Bowl spot, Chipotle ran TikTok Timeouts, starring some of the channel’s more popular content creators. With an active user base of 80 million in the US alone, this channel is a safe bet to get lots of eyeballs during the big game.

To celebrate its 100 year legacy, the NFL started the game with an emotional spot that showed kids and NFL players from across the country tossing around a football. The spot ended with the kids featured in the ad running onto the field to celebrate “the next 100 years.” Marketers should take note of this spot and remember that omnichannel can incorporate live media if planned appropriately.

Laura Ziemer

Laura Ziemer

Laura Ziemer is Mintel's Associate Vice President of Marketing Intelligence. Laura uses Mintel's marketing intelligence data to explore custom questions for clients, and provide concrete recommendations that steer them toward highly incremental growth.