Are Marketers Ready for the Cross-Device Super Bowl?

By Justin Lafferty Comment


Gone are the days when the only way to watch the Super Bowl was to crowd around that monolithic tube television.

Now, not only are Super Bowl fans watching on TV, they’re following along on Twitter, snapping selfies on Instagram and sharing moments on Snapchat. They’re streaming the game on NFL Mobile or listening to it on TuneIn.

That means there’s a variety of places for brands to engage with these fans. A new report released today by Adobe notes that roughly 1 in 3 consumers watch live sports on something other than a traditional TV. Adobe found that 50 percent of Millennials polled watch live sports on smart TVs, mobile devices or gaming consoles.

Adobe’s study showed that Millennials were also 3.5x more likely to watch or re-watch at least part of the Super Bowl on their mobile devices.

Joe Martin, marketing manager of Adobe Digital Index, spoke with SocialTimes about how advertisers are rising to the cross-device challenge?

It’s becoming standard for advertisers to release teasers or full ads on social channels prior to the big game. That creates social buzz and a following that increases the ultimate goal of brand awareness. Eight percent of millennials (ages 18-34) that we surveyed said they would be using their smartphones to rewatch Super Bowl ads and I think that following begins well before they see the commercial during the game.

Last year, I also saw lots of advertisers (and non-advertisers) promoting Super Bowl-related ads heavily during the game. Millennials are two times more likely to use their smartphone for an unrelated activity during the game (such as web surfing or social media) than those ages 35 and older. Also, one in three Gen X/Baby Boomers are checking their e-mail during the game. That shows that advertisers are understanding there are multiple touch points that need to be made with different generations that go beyond just the big screen – and extend to the second screen.

The Super Bowl also brings around a rare time of year when consumers not only seek out ads, but they want to re-watch them, chat about them on social and share their reactions.

The right ad could mean amazing long-tail buzz, Adobe found:


Millennials are 3.5x more likely to watch an ad on social, with Facebook actually taking the lead over YouTube in this regard.

Here’s a look at the generational divide when it comes to seeking out Super Bowl commercials:

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 10.26.02 PM

But knowing that many, many brands will be advertising on TV, display and social this weekend can be a bit daunting if you don’t have a multi-million dollar budget or a superstar celebrity endorser.

Martin offered some advice to companies looking to cut through the ad clutter that will come on Sunday:

As our mobile data shows, 1 in 3 online video starts for special sporting events like the Super Bowl come from mobile devices. Therefore, ads need to be tailored to work on a mobile device and could also have potential to have ‘calls to action’ at the end (i.e. Learn More, Get Involved, Join Now, etc.) You can also look to catch people engaged on their smartphones while they aren’t watching the game based on gender and demographics. Millennials are nearly four times more likely to be on social media unrelated to the game than those ages 35+ who are more likely to be checking their e-mail, looking at the player stats, and surfing the web. There are great opportunities for advertisers to capture a Super Bowl audience while they are looking at their second screen.

With social media, if you have a top Super Bowl ad, your stay atop social can last as long as 60 days post-ad airing, as we saw with last year’s Super Bowl ad from Proctor and Gamble. That begins with teaser ads and promotions prior to your ad airing and it is followed with further social promotion after the ad airs. Advertisers need to look for ways to extend momentum from the Super Bowl as long as possible.

Check out the infographic below to learn more.

Readers: What is the best Super Bowl marketing tactic for small businesses?