The beauty of America's biggest sporting event each year is the post-analysis that always occurs – not for the game, but for the advertising and marketing. But when you get beyond the fact that the Doritos spot with the snow globes was the most popular in much of the viewer voting, the big winner may have been NBC programs.
That's because the network effectively used the game (along with the pre- and post-shows) to brilliantly cross-promote their programs and stars. In the pre-game show, personalities from MSNBC and CNBC were featured, along with Jay Leno, Matt Lauer and, of course, Alec Baldwin for Hulu. You probably remember seeing the Monday night lineup (Chuck, Medium, & Heroes) that was all over the game in that "Feelin' All Right" lip-sync promo. Overall, NBC produced 48 different spots that ran throughout the day, despite only having five minutes of promo avails during the game.
As Adam Stotsky, head of marketing for NBC Entertainment, points out, "I never understood this second-class citizen perception between advertising and promos. It's all meant to sell, right?"
So, some of you may be wondering what any of this has to do with radio, but the fact is that we're often guilty of wasting some of our best cross-promotional opportunities with either mediocre creative or not even bothering to run promos at all.
How many stations that carry NFL games, for example, simply "mail in" these golden nugget avails during timeouts and play stoppages? How many affiliates of great syndicated morning shows rarely use these incredible promotional windows to cleverly market the rest of the station? And what about all the stations with great local morning shows that rarely put together successful and smart promotional spots to help move the audience through the various dayparts?
Taking a "Super Bowl" approach to cross-marketing isn't just a good idea – it's a necessity in this environment when outside marketing has become virtually extinct. Not only did NBC sell out its Super Bowl inventory to advertisers, but they also stepped up with creative that was on par with many of the paid ads that cost millions.