You can pretend you’re into football all you want, but the majority of people tuned it to the big game are only watching for the commercials. Every year, brands with deep enough pockets try to outdo themselves (and each other) with the most outrageous commercials they can come up with. Their goal: virality. Super Bowl Sunday ranks as one of the biggest advertising opportunities of the entire year with over $380 million in ad revenue recorded last year. With the explosion of influencer marketing on social media in the past year, all eyes were on whether the big brands would carry this through into their Super Bowl 2018 marketing campaigns. The answer was a resounding yes.

Brands like Bose, Kraft, Amazon, and Michelob utilized influencers (ranging from the celebrity level to the macro level) as well as their social media streams to make sure their marketing efforts were a touchdown (pun most definitely intended).

If you haven’t been sold on influencer marketing just yet, the direction of this year’s Super Bowl marketing should be proof enough. When brands are spending $5 million for a 30 second commercial spot and are choosing influencers as their focus, you know it’s gold. Keep reading to learn how 3 mega brands leveraged the power of social media influencers for advertising during Super Bowl LII.

  1. Bose and their #FootballFeelings campaign

Though Bose didn’t opt for a Super Bowl commercial spot, they did reach millions of eyeballs through a beautifully done YouTube series and Instagram campaign. The campaign was about connecting both Eagles and Patriots fans with players from each team. The heartfelt series included a video of a die-hard Eagles fan, a video of a die-hard Pats fan, and a final video of each of them getting tickets to the big game.

So, what does this have to do with influencer marketing? Bose collaborated with 13 Eagles and Patriots players to share short clips of the YouTube series to their Instagram pages. They unified the campaign by using the hashtag #FootballFeelings. The campaign was a super success. This can easily be seen in the response from these players’ posts. Eagles QB Carson Wentz’s post garnered over 58k likes and 200 comments. That is an incredible 15.1% engagement rate- much, much higher than average.

This campaign was not only a homerun because of the reach earned but also because of the image it gave the brand. By infusing kindness into their campaign by giving tickets away to super fans, Bose positioned themselves as a brand that cares and gives back. It was a win-win-win.

To check out the YouTube series, click here.

  1. Amazon uses celeb influencers

Amazon is no stranger to influencer marketing. With a bankroll like theirs, it’s no surprise that their influencers are mostly at the celebrity level. If you were watching the Super Bowl, you can’t have missed their commercial spot- it was pretty epic.

Amazon used the precious commercial time to promote their smart speaker, the Amazon Echo, along with their AI service, Alexa. The ad starred well-known celebs Rebel Wilson, Cardi B, Gordon Ramsey, and Anthony Hopkins as voice replacements when Alexa loses her voice.

To really rocket launch their campaign into virality, they also had each celeb generate buzz by sharing sponsored Instagram posts teasing the commercial prior to the game.

Between all 4 celebs, over 1.3 million likes and 15k comments were given to their Super Bowl teasers. By going with this strategy, Amazon was not only able to gain access to a huge social media reach but was able to build the anticipation and lure people to tune in to their commercial. In case you missed it, check out the commercial here.

  1. Kraft’s Instagram contest using Influencers

Super Bowl LII marked Kraft’s very first big game commercial spot. I’m sure that was no pressure at all on their marketing team. Unlike the aforementioned brands who used big celeb names, Kraft went with ordinary people highlighting their “product for all of America” brand image.

Their strategy was genius. Kraft ran an innovative contest where regular people were invited to post photos and videos of themselves watching the big game to social media networks Instagram and Twitter. By posting and using the hash tag #FamilyGreatly and #KraftEntry on game day, people were entered for a chance to appear in the Super Bowl LII commercial. The end product was a wholesome Super Bowl ad comprising entirely of photos/videos of families around America watching the game. The TV spot highlighted not only a family focus but the importance of diversity and acceptance.

Where do the influencers come in? Even though each person who participated is a micro-influencer in their own right, Kraft also partnered with macro-influencers (people with less than 100k followers) and micro-influencers (people with less than 100k) to promote their contest within days leading up to the big day. Check out the awesome ad here.

 

With influencer marketing only getting bigger, we look forward to seeing what the big brands will come up with next year. Stay tuned.