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Becoming the Brand of Choice for the Super Bowl Season

InMarket's Mitch Cristol outlines a guide for winning “Bev/Alc's Vince Lombardi Trophy."
mitch cristol
Mitch Cristol, Vice President, Practice Lead of Alc/Bev, InMarket

As football fans stock their coolers, refrigerators and bars for one of the biggest sporting — and marketing — events of the year, Bev/Alc companies are kicking their digital marketing efforts into high gear to score a touchdown.

For marketers, this means it’s critical to keep your brand top of mind for customers when and where it matters most.

In a saturated marketplace like Bev/Alc, this can feel like the ultimate challenge. 

Whether it’s new celebrity spirit brands or canned mocktails and cocktails, there’s endless competition, making it essential to not only reach the right shoppers at the right time but serve up an ad experience that connects with the consumer and drives their purchase.  

How can you overcome this challenge and score? It’s easier than you may think. 

Here are three ways to enhance your Bev/Alc marketing strategies to emerge champion of the Super Bowl season.

The Draft: Identifying Audiences to Create a Targeted Strategy That Maximizes Effectiveness and Efficiency

Every campaign starts with identifying your target audiences in the same way that every football season starts with the NFL Draft. They might seem like completely different concepts, but in reality there’s a ton of overlap. 

Coaches are looking for the people who will achieve their KPIs and generate the most impact. That strategic mindset can be applied to identifying audiences and maximizing efficiency with your targeting strategy to create the desired awareness.

Exceptional marketers do the same. They also go beyond the who to understand the why or motivations that make consumers tick. They go deep into the data to find those precious insights that will give them the edge or uncover a new segment or opportunities and move the right consumer along the journey from awareness to consideration. 

Offensive Strategy: Creating a Playbook of Unique Experiences to Become the MVP

Whether it’s hometown homage or a newfound love for the Chiefs because of Taylor Swift, football fans’ loyalty to their favorite teams transcends the game itself. While it’s certainly harder to emulate that undying passion for a football team, Bev/Alc marketers can create a similar sense of connection. 

In order to stand out and begin creating that connection, Bev/Alc marketers need to stay ahead of the curve. January has become the true football frenzy, full of NFL playoff games and the College Football Championship. Begin connecting with customers in the weeks leading up to the big game, using the big moments and celebrations along the way to keep your product portfolio in the consideration set and as the preferred choice. 

By delivering these messages consistently throughout the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, you’ll be yards closer to scoring the ultimate ROAS touchdown.

Game Day: It's About the Experience & Creating Your Loyal Fan Base

When you look across the NFL, there are a few franchises that stand out. Why? Well, winning helps, but it's also about the experience.  

For marketers, it’s about creating special experiences that, like each franchise, are unique and can spark meaningful moments. By focusing on experience and tapping into new technologies to bring a party to life, alcohol brands have an opportunity to create emotional connections with consumers via truly relevant and engaging experiences — particularly if it’s at the moment of purchase. 

Think outside the box to strategize the ways you can enhance your mobile ads. By using rich media and elevating them with dynamic or gamified creatives, you can evoke sensory experiences and effectively engage your audience. 

For example, harness the power of immersive media to create an engaging ad experience showcasing unique recipes for the rival teams ahead of each playoff game. Not only can this type of ad keep your brand front and center, it encourages engagement by providing relevant and helpful information for people planning their viewing parties and tailgates. (Who doesn’t love a unique cocktail menu?) 

This is made all the more impactful and effective if it is geo-contextual or at the precise moment of purchase. In fact, it's not unusual for such efforts to generate engagement rates as high as 6.07% (10.12x greater than industry average) or drive millions of dollars in incremental purchases.

In sum, you don’t need to be a celebrity-backed brand or Bev/Alc giant to evoke that indescribable feeling of the crack of opening a can of beer while sitting in the stands of a game or sipping your favorite beverage while watching the Super Bowl (i.e., greatness when you tune in). Brands at all stages do so by building their notoriety by creating exceptional experiences throughout the customer journey and by providing consumers with convenience, value and quality that connects with their target audiences.

For marketers gearing up for the Super Bowl season, the biggest takeaway should be to focus on the strategies that will ensure each impression not only yields off-premise and on-premise sales, but ensure the corks will pop as you shatter your campaign goals.

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