Super Bowl Ads Go Viral


Vanderbilt Marketing Professor Steve Posavac says this year’s Super Bowl advertisers have everything to gain — and little to lose — by trying to build online buzz before their ads air on Sunday night. He’s talked to USA Today and CNBC about the trend. And here he expands on his thoughts about this year’s ad teasers.

The point of releasing a social media teaser is to gain a place in consumers’ minds before the Super Bowl, generate excitement about the ad, and have greater impact because of consumers’ growing anticipation. Moreover, a good teaser has a long shelf life, and can become viral.

We are seeing more teasers because they have been effective. This year many advertisers feel that if they don’t release a teaser, they will fail to gain consumers’ mindshare, and that their ads will be lost in the clutter.

When there are many teasers, the effectiveness of a given teaser may be less effective. However, a great story, ideally with a cliffhanger that leaves consumers wanting more, will be effective. Based on what I’ve seen, Taco Bell will do well. Senior citizens doing crazy stuff usually works. Mercedes’ Kate Upton ad will get a lot of attention, but their Diner Satanmobile teaser is a little confusing. Sketchers looks promising. I think Gildan maybe should have saved their money. We’ll see.

I don’t see big risks of doing teasers. In fact, when many teasers are being released, advertisers may feel that this is simply the cost of doing business to create a memorable and effective ad. The main risk is simply wasting money on ineffective marketing, but there is a substantial risk of not doing a teaser when everyone else is.

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  1. [...] Mercedes created two trailers, and followed them up with an ad that consumers were eagerly anticipating. The ad succeeded at [...]

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