It's almost time for Super Bowl fans to settle in front of their massive sized flat screen TVs and enjoy their favorite part of the big game: the commercials. Marketers nationwide plan to capitalize on the estimated 78% of viewers who are more excited about the commercials than the big game itself.
An average of 114 million people watched the 2015 Super Bowl. CNN Money reports that 1.3 million people watched last year's big game through NBC's web stream. With numbers like these, it comes as no surprise that CBS plans to live-stream this year's big game ads.
With technology playing an increasingly important role marketing professionals offered their predictions on what they believed would be the hottest trends in Super Bowl advertising for 2016.
Thomas B. McClintock, COO - NSI Partners
Multichannel engagement will be inspired by a 2-part serial ad with viewers voting for the ending using text. The sponsor will hire a Hollywood writer to make a compelling consumer-focused ad plot with a cliffhanger ending whereupon, Part I will fade to black and viewers will be invited to text a shortcode to vote for their favorite ending. Since the sponsor will have filmed the top five most likely winners, the winning ad will be aired in the 4th quarter with a URL to view voting results and alternative endings. All 5 endings will be promoted on social media, each leading to brand mentions and social engagement. Site visitors will be prompted to help write the plot's potential third installment.
Ian Worrall, Chief Executive Officer - Encrypted Labs, Inc.
I believe that the biggest shift we will see in Big Game Advertising will be leveraging virtual reality technologies such as Google Cardboard and 360 video technology.
This creates what I refer to as immersive advertising where users can actually feel like they are in the game and view the parts of the game that they are most interested in. So essentially they are creating their own personal advertisement experience which I expect will exponentially increase conversion rates. Gamers are also one of the first movers on this technology and many own the hardware required to view the ad in a 3d, 4d or virtual reality environment. It will also provide a huge opportunity for job creation, education, and competitive advantages for first movers since this technology is advancing so quickly and becoming more accessible and easy to use.
Hubert Southall, Founder - Washr, Former Executive Creative Director of global advertising agency
Live streaming is set to become a hot trend in 2016 and beyond. 2015 saw Meerkat and Twitter-backed Periscope starting to break into mainstream. Also, now that Facebook has just released its live streaming product for brands, the table has been set for both brands and audiences.
The 'Indefinite Scope' element is what separates live streaming from other video content channels - and advertisers are well aware of its potential. Unlike YouTube content, which has a finite amount of time, live streaming has no set deadline. When someone is weighing up whether to watch a video, they go through the same cognitive decision making process as when buying something. It's ROI. We subconsciously ask ourselves, "Is the return from watching this video worth investing my time?" There are many factors that go into this decision-making process, but the predetermined length of the video plays a big role: the longer the video, the decreased chances of engagement. By its very nature, live streaming dissolves one of the key barriers to engagement.
Brands will find themselves in a position to engage audiences for longer periods using video content, which is why live streaming will be one of the new hot trends in advertising during the Super Bowl.
Alexander Kostin, Digital Marketing Project Manager - BettingExpert.com
As a medium-sized company running an online sport community, where people can share their Super Bowl 2016 tips and predictions to win prizes, we are looking for the best and inexpensive ways to increase mobile user engagement during the Big Game.
We know that around 70% of people attending Levi's Stadium on the February 7, 2016 will be using their smartphones during the game, either for taking pictures or messaging. We predict the key advertising tool for small and medium sized online companies who want to acquire new and involve existing users during Super Bowl will be, no surprise, a smartphone. In January 2016, our company will release an iOS app that allows users to post a tip during the game, follow other tipsters and view competition victories.
All possible contests, snapchat-games, selfie-quizzes and winner predictors are designed to boost people's ego and provide prizes for viewing the game. Games like ours place the future of online marketing directly in the user's hand.
I'll be keeping my eyes open to see if any of these predictions are accurate. My guess: smartphones will be a useful tool for marketers during the 2016 Super Bowl, in addition to live streaming. The use of gaming is definitely a viable option. And, of course, multichannel engagement is just smart marketing overall.
Do you have any predictions you want to share? Post them in the comments, please.