Winning the Super Bowl ad game

 Unless you have millions to spare, advertising during the Super Bowl is increasingly out of reach for most brands. A 30-second commercial can cost upwards of $5 million USD—not to mention production costs. This year, the price tag is rumored to be more than $7 million USD for a precious half-minute of viewer attention.

Luckily, for advertisers who don’t work with jaw-dropping budgets, there are other options. Brands can take part in the festivities without breaking the bank. However, you will need football-tailored content for some of these options, so onboard your creative team as soon as you can.


Over the last few years, we have seen more clever, football-themed display creative. Some brands have gone as far as completely sponsoring a publisher’s website. This can be extremely impactful, but it isn’t necessary for a game-winning strategy. Consumers will understand the link between the Super Bowl and your product if you add something as simple as football turf in the background, a football-related pun or call to action, or something even as minimal as a football to your creative.

Bonus: With some slight sizing modifications, you can leverage the same creative on your social channels! Whether you sponsor your posts or not is up to you.

Try using Moat to find some great examples of football-themed display creative—keep scrolling; this huge ad database may even house some of your competitors’ past campaigns.

Paid search

Here are a few interesting ways you can strategically use paid search in the weeks leading up to the big event.


If you’ve started a hashtag on any of your social channels, like Facebook or Twitter, you will definitely want to leverage your hashtag through search ads. This is as simple as communicating that hashtag in one of your ad headlines or description. You can use AdWords’ Experiments feature to do an A/B test to determine if your Super Bowl ads had any impact on clicks, CPC, conversions, CPA or whatever your performance metric is. This method will work best if you have on-site content explaining the hashtag/initiative.


I love Sitelinks because you can link them to most of your social channels. I personally use them to amplify my Facebook and YouTube channels–it works wonders! For example, you may want to drive to your Facebook page to get Likes or even increase views of your amazing Super Bowl-related content. For the purpose of this campaign, only use a YouTube Sitelink if it directs to a football-themed video. This can incite users to subscribe to your channel and engage with your video through likes and comments. If you do have an awesome Super Bowl video, YouTube can be a whole strategy in and of itself.

Buy Super Bowl keywords

In Canada alone, there are over 3 million Super Bowl-related searches on Google in January and February. The good news is, bids are dirt-cheap! Most terms cost less than $2. Plus, the more Super Bowl and football content you have on the landing page you’re driving to, the lower your cost-per-click will be. If this type of content is not available on your site, and all you really want is to have people see your ad, you may just want to measure impressions for this campaign. Unlike display, paid search ads only charge you based on clicks, not impressions. I would only use this method if you intend to run a promotion—specifically, if you are selling food and beverage products, TVs/monitors, streaming services, etc. Any product that can tie into the big game. In addition, to avoid any legal issues, don’t use the words Super Bowl in your ad text, as it is a registered trademark.

In order to make this a completely integrated campaign, you will want to remarket to people who have been on your website but did not perform the desired action. You can easily do this with AdWords or Google Analytics (GA) audiences. Just make sure all your actions are properly tagged!

Let me know in the comments if this article was helpful or if you might have equally interesting ideas for a Super Bowl ad campaign!

Original Article:

23 replies
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    • Adrian Salvadore
      Adrian Salvadore says:

      Hey Carol,

      Glad you liked it! I am working on new articles that will go in more depth across all Google tactics.

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