Heinz unleashes stampede of dachshunds to win most talked about ad of Super Bowl 50
With its herd of dachshunds in hot dog costumes, Heinz proved that by successfully balancing novelty and emotion with relevance, you can air the ad that resonates most with consumers, all without explosions or celebrity endorsements. All it takes is the right strategy and a few dozen puppies.
Superbowl 50 showcased a huge variety of marketing strategies. Here are some of the different approaches that brands took and how they measured up:
Do early releases of
Super Bowl Ads pay off?
Not too long ago, companies buying ad time during the Super Bowl sought to keep their game-day commercials secret until air time. But an increasing number of brands are shifting strategy and posted their game-day commercials online well in advance.
Their goal: to get consumers talking about their ads not only after the Super Bowl, but weeks before kick-off.
Here’s a comparison of those ads that earned the most social media attention:
Social media engagement
Ads with higher engagement
prior to game
Ads with higher
Mountain dew - Puppymonkeybaby
# of tweets
Upbeat messages and offbeat
From a strange creature called "Puppymonkeybaby" to a tear-inducing Audi ad, Super Bowl 50 ads ran the gamut from offbeat humor to heartfelt messages. Turns out, being funny delivers greater impact on social media
Humor vs Heart
More humorous advertisements had higher social impact but less affect
Championing a cause does
Championing a cause doesn’t just increase relevancy and emotive impact. It’s also a powerful strategy for taking greater control of the social media conversation.
The social media footprints that we mapped for “Give a Damn” and “Colgate” both show the emergence of genuine Twitter ecosystems around the themes of the ads.
"Give a damn"
16,983 campaign mentions
3,062 campaign mentions
In the end, however, despite the social conversation generated, Budweiser and Colgate didn’t manage to generate the relevance needed through their advertising to be truly impactful for the brands.
How does an integrated approach across platforms build upon each other and lead to something bigger?
Only if you can deliver relevancy and align the full breadth of the ad’s story—online, offline, before, during and after the game. Lets look at two brands who ran integrated campaigns: Hyundai and Budweiser.
Ad release and twitter engagement
Super Bowl date
The integrated approach worked well for Hyundai as the cumulative effect over the entire game reinforced different aspects of product relevance, while still enabling each ad to be novel and funny on its own terms.
For Budweiser, the lack of alignment between the different executions (Give a damn, Act like it) were so different in personality and message that it is difficult to imagine them producing a cumulative effect.
Which ad got it right?
Planning effective advertising in a multi-channel world is a complex task. However, the Super Bowl ad that most effectively delivered both long-term brand impact and short-term impact this year kept it very simple. To be the most successful advertisement you must outperform all others in building Affective Memory Potential through novelty, being genuinely funny, and delivering all-important relevance.
Affective Memory Potential scores
Breakdown of Heinz high AMP score
Heinz was the clear winner from Super Bowl 2016
It delivered strong word-of-mouth, purchase intent in the short-term, and generated a reasonable degree of autonomous social conversation as well.
What does this mean?
Teaser strategies deliver social engagement
Heart strings are an easier win than humour
Champion a cause only if you can make it relevant
Novelty, affective impact and relevance are equally important, but relevance is the hardest to achieve
A cohesive campaign can
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