The social buzz around the big game has now eclipsed the game itself.  Now over 75 percent of advertisers release their content prior to game day to maximize their footprint, and over 50 percent of us also watch those ads before the big day. Brands used to focus on creative to make that expensive 30-second spot really sticky for consumers. Now the focus is on an integrated strategy that begins weeks prior and actually ends on Monday when we vote on the best ad. 

The question, then, of "Who’s going to win?" is no longer relegated to the two teams, but to advertisers, brands, and even consumers.  With over $2.19 billion spent on advertising over the last decade, the stakes are super high. Relying merely on intuition as to how to connect your brand to consumers around the big game is no longer an option.

Do you think that Skittles simply whipped up a quirky teaser ad or that Pierce Brosnan just happened to find himself in a Kia? As much as I want to believe that, the answer is a big fat "no."  These are all part of a designed strategy to rise above the noise and grab your undivided attention. Brands and advertisers are getting more and more sophisticated in how they increase awareness and drive behavior—before, during, and after the game.  

Evolution

Brands have moved beyond the mantra "creative will win the day," and have made intuitive connections around consumer behavior. For instance, the buyer of a luxury automobile might also be inclined to purchase other luxury items (watches, purses, etc.) Most brands are playing in this field, so to get further ahead, many of the savvy ones are looking for "non-intuitive insights" to connect with their consumers. Did you know that Lexus buyers have a high propensity to buy Baked Lays and home-pregnancy tests? Or that Dannon buyers also spend on bourbon and Cheetos? 

The infographic below will show you some further insights (for some reason, I like the connection between Bud Light fans and board games). On Sunday, as you watch the big game, watch the ads, or watch your friends make fools of themselves at your party, think about which brands appeal to you and what they did to make that connection. You may want to vote on them come Monday.