According to ESPN.com, 49 percent of Americans are football fans…but just in case you’re not among them, football season can also mean a whole new ball game in the world of advertising.
Companies will capitalize on anything they can and football season is no exception. Brands launch new campaigns both in preparation for, and during the season, in order to take advantage of the huge draw from football audiences. By gearing their products and services towards this huge target market, companies can add a new segment to their customer base regardless of whether they are directly related to football or not. Advertisement strategies will range from direct involvement through sponsoring the NFL to simply trying to profit off the hype. Football fans who are considering the Bojangles 20 piece jumbo tailgate special now have extra incentive to make Bojangles their game day choice. Bojangles is embracing football season with their second year of offering up football shaped Bojangles biscuits. These tasty bites are available for a limited time until September 26th.
While food and football go hand in hand, make-up is a less traditional, yet still relevant way to show your team spirit.
CoverGirl’s 2014 campaign featured a series of makeup and nail designs that represented each of the NFL teams colors and mascots. Inviting women to “Get your Gameface on” CoverGirl found an effective way to include their target audience, possibly otherwise ignored, in the team spirit so many Americans feel during the pro football season. This campaign is a prime example of the diversity of brands using football as a marketing technique, proving even CoverGirl is more than just a pretty face.
Brands are not just incorporating football into their advertising campaigns but turning to social media for game day participation. During the 2013 Super Bowl, the power went out in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome while the Saints played against the Ravens. Minutes after the power outage, Oreo took to Twitter and posted “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” The tweet generated more than 15,000 retweets and according to www.mashable.com won respect for making the most out of the blackout situation. Other companies that took to Twitter during the power outage were Tide with their ad, “We can’t get your blackout. But we can get your stains out.” Jim Bean also got in on the hype via Facebook with their ad, “In case you missed the memo… tonight’s big game ‘power outage’ was brought to you by Jim Beam Black.”
Some people welcome football season in for the games, while others may find creative brand efforts to be the real source of entertainment. What’s your favorite football related campaign?
-Carey Poniewaz, June Wilkinson, Aki Suzuki, Carey Shetterley, Alexis Trimnal
Even though I would count myself as part of the 51% of Americans who aren’t football fans, I couldn’t help but notice the increase of advertisements and promotions tied to football. It astounded me how many companies have successfully jumped on the “Game Day” bandwagon convincing us to consume their biscuits, cookies, and make-up.
In my sports marketing class, we discussed how some spend billions in sponsorship dollars to become the NFL’s official beer or the official financial services provider, but are still ambushed by those unaffiliated companies who succeed in placing an ad at the right time and place. Surprisingly, all three brands you mentioned don’t have this official relationship with the NFL; yet their campaigns were the first ones that came to your mind.
So here is my question to you: can you name the NFL’s official automotive brand? Do you know whether Coors or Bud Light is the official beer? I certainly don’t and – with the growing importance of social media – I wonder whether the extra (financial) effort to successfully support your sponsorship is still worth it.