football sidelines

The Top 5 Marketing Campaigns That Won Super Bowl LII

There are two types of people in this world: those that watch the Super Bowl for the football, and those that watch the Super Bowl for the ads. If you’re a sports fan, witnessing the underdog Eagles overtake the Patriots in glorious fashion may have overwhelmed you so much you climbed Crisco-soaked poles and overturned cars in a frantic first-win celebration in Philly. But if you’re a marketer, perhaps you avoided the collapsed awnings and smashed windows and instead reflected on a series of super ads that made this year one for the digital marketing books. Not to mention the best meme of the night, #SelfieKid.


Every Ad is a Tide Ad

Considering that last week most people were talking about (or actually) eating Tide Pods and the company was in full damage control mode, Tide’s 15 million dollar Super Bowl gamble certainly paid off. The nostalgic call backs to some of this decade’s most popular ads, coupled with a present day superstar (David Harbour from Stranger Things) got a lot of people talking.

An hour into the game #TideAd was trending on Twitter, and when it was all said and done, the ads were the most tweeted of all the non-trailer ads during the big game. According to one analytics firm, there were 163,800 Twitter mentions and social engagement increased 74 times. The marketing team really drove it home when, during an unplanned short blackout, Tide tweeted, “Clean clothes are still clean in the dark. If it’s clean, it’s a #TideAd”. Well played, Tide.

Even Betty White got in on the good clean fun.


Alexa Has Friends in High Places

The big question on Jeff Bezos’ mind Sunday night was not ‘will the Eagles win?’, it was ‘what if Alexa lost her voice?’. If she did, obviously hilarity would ensue. In fact, Amazon was banking on it.

Featuring heavy hitters like Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson, and Anthony Hopkins, the spot was Youtube’s top viewed ad and considered the overall winner by both consumers and marketing professionals surveyed by Ad Age.

Every detail of the ad was well crafted and well received by viewers, including a cameo from Bezos himself, possible hidden clues about the new headquarters, and the fact Alexa was rigged so she didn’t respond to the many mentions of her name during the spot.

Considering consumers and marketers alike have been abuzz about everything voice search over the last few years, it’s no surprise that this hilarious ad really spoke to us.


Kraft Gets Families Together

We’ve all heard-tell of a low cost, high impact marketing phenomena that has the potential to shoot a brand straight into the spotlight. UGC (user generated content) brings a brand and their fans together to create an often memorable campaign (in one way or another…).

Carrying on their #FamilyGreatly campaign started in December, Kraft jumped on the UGC train with a non-product focused ad made entirely of user-submitted family photos celebrating the big game. Anne Field, Director of Brand Building at Kraft added, “Why wouldn’t we use that stage as a gesture for the real families that we champion to get to share the ways that they ‘family greatly’?”.

Although Kraft didn’t break the internet with their family-oriented UGC focused ad, all in all, it turned out to be a heartwarming and well-crafted campaign.


Netflix Drops a Cloverfield Bomb

Netflix is no stranger to paving the way for innovative ideas. This year, they upped the ante big time when they released a surprise Cloverfield sequel trailer, produced by J.J. Abrams, that ominously announced it was ‘coming very soon.’

Twitter immediately blew up, speculating on what the trailer signified for the much-loved Cloverfield franchise. When it was revealed that the film would be available to stream on the service immediately after the game ended (that is soon!), fans were overjoyed.

Netflix certainly succeeded in creating a fast and effective buzz around the film. Although the reviews of the film are mixed, we can all agree the marketing campaign behind this one was pretty chill.


HQ Finds the Best Things in Life are Free

The popular trivia app HQ easily wins the best ROI award for their campaign, considering they mysteriously got their spot for free. Before the game, HQ announced they would be giving away a whopping $20K during their halftime trivia round. According to Digiday, close to two million people participated while Justin Timberlake performed at halftime, dropping to 1 million as he finished his set, and 250K as the game wrapped up. That’s a lot of active users!

Using a creative, well timed, and extremely cost-efficient campaign, HQ was able to pull nearly 2 million people away from the big(ger) screen and back to their mobiles in one fell swoop. Pulling people away from JT is certainly no trivial accomplishment.


Bonus: Skittles Takes 1 to 1 Marketing to a New Level

What happens when you put David Schwimmer, a Skittle eating sandwich, and the literal definition of 1 to 1 marketing together? The answer: Skittles’ game day campaign hail mary played out on Facebook Live.

The ‘real’ ad was preceded by teaser trailers featuring David Schwimmer in a variety of wacky Skittles universe scenarios, with the promise that the true Skittles Super Bowl ad would be shown to only one (yes, one) young fan named Marcos Menendez. Every other fan could watch Marcos watch the scenario unfold on Facebook Live, but as promised, only he would ever see the ad itself.

True to the idea of 1 to 1 marketing, the ad was highly personalised, with some of it even shot inside Marcos house and included a scene where his mother burst into a million Skittles (after being shot by a David Schwimmer eye laser, of course).

The Facebook Live feed only had about 49K views despite its large budget, but the stunt certainly got the internet talking. It was another spirited attempt to try something different, true to the Skittles brand. In our Digital Predictions 2018, Melissa Mackey predicted that, “We’re getting closer and closer to 1 to 1 marketing…It’s going to be exciting.” According to Skittles, we’re already tasting that rainbow.


What was your favorite campaign of the night? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credits

Featured Image: Unsplash / Tim Mossholder

Cassy Trussell

Cassy Trussell

Cassy is Acquisio's Content Specialist and resident Community Manager. With degrees in both Communication Studies and Graphic Design, coupled with agency and freelance design and copywriting experience, she has an ideal trifecta of skills to back up the entire marketing team. A passionate foodie, she can tell you all the best dishes in the city. When she's not writing, designing, or engaging with Acquisio's community, she spends time with her dog Derp, a local Instagram star.

2018 Digital Marketing & Paid Media Predictions eBook

PLUS Must-Watch Digital Predictions Videos from PPC Experts!

Get the eBook!
2018 Digital Marketing & Paid Media Predictions eBook