Football is not just a game. It’s a culture. Millions of fans that are holding their breath for the Big Game on February 5th know the feeling of getting together and enjoying the thrill with the people they most enjoy spending time with. It’s about belonging to something, being a part of a community. Football is a social experience.
In recent years, following football’s greatest moments is becoming more social and connected than ever, thanks to creative ad campaigns. Game day ad spots were always a huge part of the excitement, but with social media’s increasing influence on marketing and branding techniques, companies are embracing social networks as a powerful tool for engaging with the audiences that are hyped about the big game.
Social campaigns work. They turn the target audience from passive observers to an active participants. They’re also a lot of fun to organize. It’s much more interesting to see how a campaign develops when many people are involved and when your fans can actually be a part of it. That’s why Wix is once more opting for a campaign that stirs up a buzz on social channels. You’ve met Felix, haven’t you?
This year, our campaign star is Felix. Like many of us, Felix is a small biz owner trying to get by in a world filled with unexpected trouble. But Felix is no quitter. He has what it takes to make it big:
We see Felix in each and every one of our users – innovative, clever, knows how to grab opportunities when they come. That’s why we’re asking our followers to show their solidarity with Felix with one simple step – change your profile pic and be like Felix. Wix is handing out a cash prize of $10K every weekday to one lucky winner until February 5th. That’s not all. On game day itself, we will give one $50K grand prize to an honorary Felix! That’s a lot of cash for just changing a profile pic. You can read all about it right over here.
When we announced the contest a few days ago, Wix became the first company ever to reveal the first Big Game spot using Facebook Live – the event streaming tool that is rapidly changing social marketing. This is just a sneak peak, but with the fierce Gal Gadot and action man Jason Statham, you know we have lots of thrills coming your way.
As you can tell, we approach this campaign persuaded by the power of social media to energize real, long-term interactions with our users and potential users. Previous campaigns we’ve run on social networks (you may recall a certain animated panda bear that helped us run a Twitter contest last year) definitely contribute to that approach. But it’s not only our past experience that guides us in this campaign. Here are some awesome big game social campaigns that inspired us to stick to social.
Gatorade made a bold move when they based their 2016 Game Day campaign on social media’s freshest trend setter, Snapchat. Most brands were just beginning their love affair with the mobile app, and here was Gatorade investing big money in a campaign that didn’t even mention the brand’s name explicitly.
But the Dunk Filter idea was a winner right from the start. Fully utilizing Snapchat’s magic of filters and combining it with the tradition of Gatorade Shower in sports events, Gatorade’s filter offered Snapchat users to see what it would look like if they were entirely immersed in the beverage. Having Serena Williams take a shot at the dunk didn’t hurt, of course.
Can brands get maximum exposure on game day without going all the way with an ad spot during the breaks? Esurance sure did. The insurance company’s Pass It On sweepstake campaign, asking fans to simply retweet the brand’s own tweets for a chance to win big cash prizes, made waves all across the web and with more than 835,000 mentions won Esurance the highest volume of mentions during the game.
Esurance did not rely on the sweepstake alone to pass the message on. All throughout the game, the brand was reacting to real-time events with tweets and videos, interacting with other brands, constantly conversing with followers and keeping track of how people are engaging with their content. It was a well-orchestrated operation that proved that betting on social is a good call.
— Esurance (@esurance) February 8, 2016
A powerful hashtag is one that sends a message which resonates with people’s own experiences. Always’ Like A Girl ad, which uncompromisingly challenged gender norms live during a game that fully celebrates macho culture, embodied that message perfectly. Playing on the “throw like a girl” stereotype, the Always’ ad made clear that doing anything “like a girl” is absolutely great.
The campaign’s success is most evident in its organic spread through social media. Inspired by the ad, women took to their Twitter accounts to share their own #LikeAGirl empowering message. It became clear that many women out there recognized their own story in the ad and its message. The popularity of the #LikeAGirl hashtag met with some resistance from less enthusiastic Twitter users, which sparked a real debate over equality and social values.
For several years now, Oreo is known as a leading brand in social marketing strategy. This excellent reputation goes back to their 2013 big game campaign. Oreo used their spot during the game to announce a launch of their Instagram account, heralded by the epic “Cookie or Creme” campaign, in which “cookie artists” recreated user-submitted visuals using Oreo’s good stuff – the cookie, the creme.
But if that wasn’t enough, Oreo left its mark on that year’s game with yet another social media stunt – their sensational improv tweet during the infamous blackout, which immediately won them the praise of fans and industry experts alike. The conclusion for all brands thereafter was clear – tune into social channels, keep an open mind, and you’ll be rewarded.
The chips super-brand has been running their Crash campaign since 2006 and were, in fact, one of the first advertisers to integrate online engagement with their big game spot. Each year, Doritos invited fans to submit their own TV ads to be played during the game, and held a public vote to decide on the winner.
In recent years, social media’s role in the pre-game campaign became the real battle ground. Contestants created social media profiles dedicated to promoting their own submissions and gathered masses of enthusiasts to cheer for their ads. The result was an exponentially-growing buzz machine with high level of personal engagement.
Still, Doritos probably did the right thing by declaring last year’s Crash Ad as the final cycle of this campaign. This formula was beginning to risk a reputation of being stale and repetitive, and it was best to end on a good note, like last year’s winner, Doritos Dogs. Take a walk down memory lane on the winning ad’s Facebook page.
Want to get involved in Wix’s Big Game Fun? Enter for a chance to win BIG!
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