Super Bowl is claimed to be the biggest sporting event in the US and one of the biggest globally. Every year it gathers 70k people at a stadium, almost 100 million people in front of their TVs, and amounts to 560 million total minutes of live online streaming. But football appears to be the least important part of the Super Bowl for the mass audience… what’s the big deal about, then? Well, its beauty seems to lie with advertising.
Read this Big Game Guide to Affiliate Advertising and learn how to maximize your profits running Super Bowl-related ad campaigns!
Seasonality of affiliate marketing
This business is all about hitting it while it’s hot. Remember the Black Friday craze or The Holiday Season spree? Super Bowl is just another example of how season-bound affiliate advertising is. Plan your campaigns according to the Q1 calendar and you’ll be just fine. And if you’re still wondering why the Super Bowl is given a special place on the Q1 roadmap then here’s why.
The Super Bowl advertising hype
Super Bowl has made its name for some of the greatest commercials in history. But with the growth of digital advertising, it’s not just commercials anymore. Remember 2013 black-out and the grand Oreo tweet that went viral? Well, this proves the power of online coverage.
According to Business Insider, the actual game is not the only merit anymore:
“[…] despite the abundance of compelling stories surrounding the Super Bowl and the thrilling games that preceded it, for a plurality of those viewing at home, the football appears to be the least important aspect of the broadcast.”
While the Super Bowl hype has already moved from stadiums to TV screens, it is now preparing for an online touchdown. It’s not just sports anymore, people around the globe pursue the Super Bowl because it is a fashionable thing to do. In more digital terms — it’s viral.
Super Bowl’s potential for affiliate marketing
With such a course of events, the Super Bowl finals present great potential for affiliate advertising. What’s also worth noticing is that data and insights gathered from this event apply to other big sports festivities, too. This means you’re able to use the gathered experience and run similar campaigns all year round.
What’s especially useful for affiliate advertisers is the abundance of year-by-year data collected by analyzing the Super Bowl event in terms of its media coverage and advertising influence. Such knowledge gives us tangible prospects and allows to identify affiliate focus areas.
Having said that, here are the three main questions affiliate advertisers should know the answers to:
- What to promote with the Super Bowl hype?
- Where to promote with the Super Bowl hype?
- How to promote with the Super Bowl hype?
It seems fair enough, right? Only if you try Googling the ‘Super Bowl’ term, this mighty search engine gives you a very moderate number of about… 1,460,000,000 results! Good luck digging through that.
Alternatively, read this guide and learn industry insights to rocking your campaigns during the Big Game day and beyond!
What to promote with the Super Bowl hype?
To learn what works best in the affiliate business during the Super Bowl season, we carried out a little investigation. First, we researched the Super Bowl audience’s likings and checked if this data can be applied to our industry. Thanks to the positive findings, we were able to select ten affiliate angles corresponding with the Super Bowl trends.
Verticals related to big sporting events:
- Sports Betting
- Casino & Gambling
- Surveys & Sweeps
- Nutra & Enhancement
- Nutra & Diet
- Mainstream VOD/Streaming
- Lead Generation
- Hobbies & Interests
The upcoming two weeks allow advertisers to maximize their profits running campaigns aligned to the verticals listed above. With angles ranging from sports betting, through nutra to e-commerce, there’s room for everybody. Nevertheless, whether you’re an old sport or a newbie trying their luck, it’s worth having a look at the below tips.
This angle needs little explanation in the Super Bowl’s context. According to Statista, the amount of money wagered on the Super Bowl in Nevada’s sportsbooks amounts up to nearly $160 million per edition! If you’re a sports betting vertical expert then now is your time to shine.
Know this vertical is not only Super Bowl-bound. With big sporting events taking place all year round, all over the globe, you can reuse the gathered knowledge and adjust it to an event of your choice. Apart from the events-bound traffic, sport is a widely popular segment of the digital sphere in general. It’s related to e-commerce, nutra, games, streaming or hobbies and interest verticals. It’s popular with users, it has a huge reach as well as volumes of traffic, and it’s not too expensive — what’s not to like!
This vertical works all year round — whatever the season, occasion or the latest hype, e-commerce is your ally. Seasonality is an important factor for boosting sales and hence it’s equally important for the affiliate advertising schedule, as we mentioned already.
That’s why the Super Bowl is yet another date to watch out for on the marketing calendar. Offers expected to convert well during the next two weeks include sports gear, football-fan accessories, sports clothing and fashion, snacks, fizzy drinks, dips… whatever a die-hard fan’s heart desires.
CASINO & GAMBLING
As with every big sporting event, everyone wants to try their luck. That’s why the casino & gambling vertical also gets its share of the Super Bowl cake. Although this angle varies from sports betting, it can still be adjusted to suit the current trend. The same practices as always apply, but remember to tune up your ads to suit the occasion. Copy and creatives that match the football spirit are a must.
The online gaming industry is worth well over $100 billion and the numbers are growing. With a variety of smaller niches, whatever angle’s best for you, you’ll most probably be able to adjust your experience to the online gaming vertical. With the US alone taking up a quarter of the market, running the online sport gaming campaigns during the Super Bowl season sounds like a touchdown to us.
SURVEYS & SWEEPS
The surveys and sweeps vertical is an all-time winner, there’s no doubt about that. It works with all kinds of ads, verticals or seasonal events. And if you’re wondering whether it’s worth your money during the Super Bowl games, just look at the examples below.
With people actively searching for such offers, your advertising audience is more likely to engage. Pepsi, Head & Shoulders, Lipton… do you think such giants would do it if it wasn’t worth it? Yep, don’t think so. Money’s on the table so make your move for it!
NUTRA & ENHANCEMENT
This may not sound politically correct, but the whole Super Bowl craze is a great occasion for advertisers promoting nutraceuticals aiding bodybuilding or bedroom performance. This event brings dozens of great-looking players and celebrities onto one field and let’s not kid ourselves — we all like what we see. People crave their looks, only can’t spend this many hours at a local gym and turn all hot overnight. What they can do instead is to click an ad showing the before and after effect that will surely solve the problem. Just like these:
NUTRA & DIET
And for those keen on changing their dieting and exercising habits thanks to the big sporting hype (minus the performance bit), there’s also plenty to advertise. Think all the beauty and dietary supplements, teeth whitening, ani-hair loss products, protein or vitamin supplements — the list is long and very much Super Bowl-related.
MAINSTREAM VOD/ STREAMING
With more than half a billion minutes of online streaming, the Super Bowl season is worth running your mainstream VOD/ streaming campaigns with. And as the graph below proves, streaming angle does best with pop, while domain redirect is the runner-up.
Lead generation vertical can be done in various ways, using various tools. Our recommendation for the Super Bowl time would be push traffic combined with coupons/vouchers (e.g. e-mail subscription reward) or sweepstakes (e.g. sign up/subscribe and win). Again, a user’s proactive search might be translated into much higher ad engagement.
HOBBIES & INTERESTS
This vertical is as broad as human imagination and aptitude for innovation gets. Anything can fall into the hobbies and interests category, hence all the other verticals are applicable, too. This allows us to reuse tried and tested practices and use them with a fresh audience. This allows advertisers to save time and resources during the testing phase and focus on maximizing profits. Have a look at the below examples:
Here’s a selection of this weeks’ top verticals and GEOs with the available volumes and suggested minimum bids. Use these insights to launch your Big Game Day ad campaigns!
|SK (South Korea)||72,489,201||$0.04|
|UK (United Kingdom)||1,046,321,871||$0.02|
|Surveys & Sweeps|
|US (United States)||20,99,638,487||$0.08|
Where to promote with the Super Bowl hype?
The most important part of targeting your Super Bowl-related campaigns (or any other season hypes) is the location-based targeting. Usually, there are two types of location targeting:
- Broad geo-targeting aka country-based.
- Narrow geo-targeting aka city and region-based.
Starting broad is the recommended option. First, go for country geo-targeting to run quick tests and identify the best performing units. Next, use narrow targeting to focus on the best-performing targets. If possible, narrow it down to city and region areas with the highest interest rate.
If you’re wondering where to start your broad campaigns and where to narrow it down, here are the industry findings.
Countries taking interest in the Super Bowl.
According to Statista, there are countries taking a much bigger interest in the Super Bowl game than the rest of the world. Naturally, the biggest audience belongs to the US and Latin America followed by more remote countries. Luckily for affiliate advertisers, when juxtaposed with the affiliate industry trends, the following four focus-groups can be identified:
- The first group includes English speaking countries like the US, UK, AU, and CA. Watch out for the competition, though! It might be tight.
- The second group is Latin America, including MX, BR, and AR. This year’s half-time show will bring some Latin vibes so the interest is bound to skyrocket!
- The third one focuses on Europe with countries like SE, DE, FR, AU, BE. The interest might be a bit smaller yet still increased around the Super Bowl season.
- Let’s not forget about the two less obvious but still profitable countries: SAU and SK.
Cities & regions taking interest in the Super Bowl.
Talking about narrowing down the targeting options, the US city or region parting may be especially handy. This is because we can already tell at least three areas that will go completely crazy over the whole event on the Big Game Day and a week preceding it, too. These areas are:
- Kansas City, Missouri.
- San Francisco, California.
- Miami, Florida.
The reason is simple — the Super Bowl LIV 2020 will be played between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. Hence, the homes of the two teams are bound to hit the engagement ceiling. And with the big game show taking place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida’s favorite city will surely get its share of attention, too.
How to promote with the Super Bowl hype?
When it comes to producing Super Bowl creatives that convert, remember the following suggestions.
#1 Make your ads relevant.
If your campaigns are sport event-related, like in case of the Super Bowl, remember to include relevant themes, symbols or references. The related ideas could involve football elements, people watching the game or snacks needed for the Super Bowl party. See the following ad example:
ALERT NOTE: Beware the legal regulations and copyright infringements! (Here’s a similar case scenario).
The most important rule is to be careful with the Super Bowl or Super Sunday names. It’s acceptable to use them in general context, yet it’s forbidden to use these NFL trademarked terms as direct advertising slogans… unless you’ve got the NFL’s permission.
Here’s a list of 25 names/terms coined throughout the years to substitute for the Super Bowl original name, yet make it crystal clear what’s on people’s minds.
|2||The Game of Games|
|4||Sunday Sunday Sunday|
|5||The Football Olympics|
|6||The Football World Series|
|7||AFC-NFC World Championship|
|8||Big Football Time|
|10||The Superb Owl|
|12||Waiting for Halftime|
|13||Pre-Game is Finally Over|
|14||The Final Countdown|
|16||Field Goal Frenzy|
|17||Championship of Commercials|
|18||Sports in Between Commercials|
|19||Men in Tights|
|20||Large Men Chasing Each Other|
|21||Huge Men Chasing a Ball|
|22||Tom Brady Winning Again|
|23||An Excuse to Get Drunk Day|
|24||A Time to Eat Snacks Day|
#2 Make your ads stand out.
With an event of this sort, advertising hopes are big, advertising audience is big, advertising profits are big… but this means the competition’s big, too.
This is why it’s not only about making your ad creatives catchy. With an event of this size even the catchiest ad, if replicated too many times, wears out quickly. Since fighting the creative fatigue or banner blindness is a hot topic right now remember to consider it.
The truth is even the smallest changes or replacements work, see the examples!
#3 Make your ads appealing.
Remember about the well-adjusted colors, user-friendly designs, and non-disruptive imagery. You do want people to look at your ads so don’t discourage them yourself. Remember that your ads should always follow rules listed in this blog, they apply to all ad formats!
#4 Make your ads relatable.
Playing with people’s minds is a good old advertising trick. We mentioned some of these tricks in this blog post but here’s a quick recap:
- Contrast — make your visuals tell a story of a problem and a solution, before and after, devil and angel, from rags to riches. Anything that lets users assume clicking on your ad will get them the desired outcome.
- Urgency — make it clear there’s no time to waste, hurry people up or others will outrun them! IT’S TOUCHDOWN TIME!
- Engagement — dynamic or interactive visuals (where feasible) might be the key to success. If done right, people won’t be aware they’ve been guided by the hand all the way.
- Comparison — similar to contrasting yet not so drastic. Refer to high authority or quality instances to give yourself more credibility.
- Celebrities — people love celebrity gossip or anything celebrities-related. Lots of people dream of celeb lifestyle so let’s give users a hand getting one step closer to that.
#5 Make your ads convert.
It’s not just visuals, the copy/text part is crucial, too. If you do it right, people will do as they’re told. Remember to keep it simple, direct and relevant. Don’t forget to include a powerful CTA, add some emojis or play with the Super Bowl slogans and names!
#4 Make your ads match the ad format.
Super Bowl-related campaigns do well with all sorts of traffic or ad formats. With an abundance of targeting options and automation tools available, advertisers can do well even if they aren’t a given ad format experts.
While choosing which ad format to go for, check the following.
- Think which ad format you have tried already.
- Try to calculate and estimate your budget per given traffic type.
- Think of relevant ad visuals or landing pages necessary for a given ad format.
- See if you’d be able to launch your campaigns early enough to test them with an ad format of your choice.
- Check if you’d be able to identify the best-performing units early enough to scale them up.
#5 Optimize your ad campaigns.
What’s worth reminding is that good targeting and optimization practices aren’t possible without using a tracker. Tracking is essential. It allows you to get a clear view of all the data, test your campaigns, and see the ups and downs of your targeting setup. Tracking the performance of your campaigns is also a critical condition to be able to make use of automated optimization tools.
Once you’re past the initial testing phase, it’s time for a brief recap and drawing quick notions. Remember there’s not much time left so using AI-powered solutions offered by the traffic network of your choice may be a huge help to get the best of your targeting choices.
To help you get a head start in the Big Game, here’s a brand new whitelist for you to use. It’s made of 15 best domain redirect targets from the last seven days, for the US. The selected targets come from the Super Bowl-related misspelled domains. Although the list may seem a bit expensive, it’s a collection of very granular and good quality data worth betting your money on.
|US – DOMAIN REDIRECT – MISSPELLINGS|
IT’S TOUCHDOWN TIME!
Millions are spent every year on Super Bowl-related advertising and the best part is it pays off. The affiliate marketing business is no exception here… well, apart from the fact you can join the game with a much smaller budget.
WATCH THE VIDEO FOR A QUICK SUMMARY…
… AND ENTER THE GAME TO SCORE HIGH THIS SUPER BOWL SEASON!