Mobile promos prove to be Super Bowl gold

Retailers were oddly absent from the Super Bowl advertiser lineup during the big game, but many were strategically present on mobile platforms as savvy brands turned to social media to reach the coveted audience.

Only McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Victoria's Secret and a few CPGs, including beer companies, reached out to viewers with a classic commercial spot. But a good many national chains were busy tweeting and engaging shoppers on social media in real time during the game.

And 77 percent of those engagements were taking place on mobile, according to Engagor.

"Why blow your marketing budget on a Super Bowl ad when retailers can run targeted data-driven campaigns instead?" asked Stephanie Trunzo, CCO of mobile design and development company PointSource. Twitter's geolocation scalabilities pushed retailers' notifications directly into feeds, while installed apps pushed messages to users' mobile devices.

Meanwhile, some marketers included hashtags or directed viewers to participate in a campaign from a televised ad. McDonald's not only stirred up interest with its Lovin' promotion and ad, but further engaged mobile users with tweets complimenting other ads and offering rewards for social sharing. The effort made McDonald's the most buzzed about advertiser on social media that day, according to Engagor.

L Brands-owned Victoria's Secret aired a spot to promote a special Valentines Day collection, and posted still shots on Instagram to let viewers know that a gift-giving holiday was right around the corner.

But many advertisers, mainly retailers, simply went directly to their customers.

Flash sale site Jack Threads kicked things off with a promo code tied to the coin toss and J. Crew pushed out a promotion timed to coincide with the game for a limited sale that ticked down with the minutes of play.

In all, mobile managed to provide direct access to shoppers in a way traditional Super Bowl advertising has not been able to, according to Trunzo. ROI tied to the Super Bowl, where spots cost upwards of $4 million, is difficult to calculate. But crafting a message based on existing data and sending it to those who matter is much more efficient. 

Messages also had a better chance of reaching the consumers who make buying decisions, namely women. "We're going to see more of this data-driven approach," Trunzo predicts. And those retailers that began investing resources in growing mobile early are the ones reaping these early rewards.

Even for viewers involved in the game, social media was the place they turned to discuss events both on the field and in between plays.

Factor in Katy Perry's shoppable half time show—the performer partnered with the Universal Music Group and Delivery Agent to create buying opportunities on Twitter, Smart TVs and other apps during the performance—and this might have been the most shoppable Super Bowl ever.

For more:
-See this story from The Verge
-See this Engagor infographic
-See this USA Today story

Related stories:
McDonald's launches interactive Twitter push with Billboard
Victoria's secret plan to stop selling clothes
Twitter is king of customer service for retailers 
Social media leads to a surge in coupon searches
Sephora launching its own social media website

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