Journal Entries

Back to Posts

Feb 12, 2021


Why Integrated Marketing Was the True Super Bowl Champion

A look at Super Bowl Sunday’s ‘other’ team sport: Integrated Marketing

Reflecting on Super Bowl Sunday’s ‘other’ team sport: Integrated Marketing

Discussion around Super Bowl ads is as common as Tom Brady’s appearance in the NFL’s championship game - many are quick to call the ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ from the commercial breaks, but more discussion ought to be had around the brand building done offscreen.

Why, you might ask?

Consumers are inundated with content – not only are they watching the game on TV, but they’re also following along on social media, possibly multitasking and not 100% focused on every single ad. Brands need to think strategically and use different disciplines and channels to ensure their investment in that :30 second spot is ‘worth it,’ and developing an integrated marketing plan around it helps that great creative work smarter.

After the pivotal year that was 2020, this Super Bowl was different in many ways, including its marketing. While some brands pulled out of traditional advertising, others joined in for the first time. From legacy advertisers to startups, CPG to tech, regardless of their end goal one thing rings true: brand building is always integrated.

Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting integrated marketing programs surrounding the Super Bowl. Some focus on amplifying a Super Bowl spot, others aim to create a different experience for a socially distanced Super Bowl:

-Knowing many consumers were planning at home festivities, we partnered with our client Anheuser-Busch to elevate game day celebrations nationwide with the Stella Stadium Bites kit. Crafted by Blue Apron, every kit came with four delicious recipes alongside four limited-edition Stella Artois Chalices.

-Bud Light’s “Last Year’s Lemons” TV commercial was applauded for its entertainment value, but it stayed top of consumers’ minds due to its delivery partnership with Drizly. Bringing the excitement of trying a new drink to consumers’ homes, the brand tailored Drizly push notifications to focus on its Lemonade Seltzer, shortly after the commercial aired.

-Amplifying its “Real Job Seekers” TV commercial, Indeed, shared job postings from other Super Bowl advertisers on its Twitter page throughout the game. While the first-time advertiser received some backlash for its use of the same few seconds of stock video as Guaranteed Rate, the brand was able to use its social media strategy to both change the conversation about its commercial and endear itself to consumers.

-Knowing small businesses need as much support as possible, Verizon aired its Big Concert for Small Business. Following the Super Bowl, it featured performances from stars like Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, H.E.R, Miley Cyrus, Brittany Howard, Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan. To promote, the brand partnered with its artists on social media content targeted to game viewers following along on social media.

-Reddit’s five-second spot (which cost the company’s entire advertising budget) signaled support of the r/WallStreetBets community and generated media coverage from a variety of outlets, including CNBC, The New York Times, Variety and HYPEBEAST. Interestingly, Reddit doubled its valuation the week following, largely due to a surge in new users as a result of the role r/WallStreetBets has played in the GameStop trading frenzy.

-Whether you loved it or hated it, Oatly’s integrated marketing plan allowed it to become a pop culture phenomenon. Airing a polarizing TV commercial that was banned in Sweden, Oatly braced for backlash by releasing t-shirts that said, “I totally hated the Oatly commercial,” which sold out in under five minutes. This move not only caused Oatly to trend on social platforms, but generated earned media for the brand, possibly making it an overnight household name.

We can help your brand develop showstopping integrated marketing programs, email us at