Victoria’s Secret was the big ‘retail’ name going in to this year’s Super Bowl. Its teaser spot featuring the Angels playing football gained nearly two million views ahead of time, while the commercial it actually aired during the fourth quarter (as below) followed closely behind with 1.2 million.
It was a smart move by the brand; a bid to build awareness a mere two weeks before Valentine’s Day – needless to say one of its most important sales periods.
It backed the spot with a strong Twitter strategy; engaging with fans throughout the game with comments and replies, as well as tweeting during play with thoughts on Katy Perry’s halftime show, as well as the launch of an exclusive flash sale.
Multiple other retailers did the same however, and without the rumoured $4.5m it costs per 30-second commercial spot. While it was a less creative year than in 2013, which saw Calvin Klein’s live Vine posts, or in 2014 with JC Penney’s spoof typos, there was a noteworthy ongoing bid for real-time marketing.
Kenneth Cole was one of the strongest, with both the brand and the designer’s own account tweeting about some of the other ads being shown during the game, Katy Perry’s show again, and things like how much everyone is likely to eat throughout.
— Kenneth Cole (@kennethcole) February 1, 2015
Sears meanwhile was all about the game itself – tweeting on the play from the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots, the latter of which went on to win.
What a play! We’re at the edge of our seats. This may be the biggest drive of the game. #SB49
— Sears (@Sears) February 2, 2015
Alex and Ani followed suit, adding some cute Vine videos to congratulate the teams on their touchdowns, which simultaneously showcased product. Like Kenneth Cole, further tweets posted related to the other brands featured in the ad breaks.
Foot Locker was another retailer that did have an official ad in the commercial break, but simultaneously won on social thanks to the fact Seattle Seahawks’ player Chris Matthews was a former employee.
Foot Locker would like to announce February's Employee of the Month: @TheRealCMaTT13
— Foot Locker (@footlocker) February 2, 2015
While the company did tweet a couple of times about said fact – especially after the wide receiver helped tie the game two seconds before the end of the first half – it was the commentators on NBC, not to mention publications like AdWeek that truly due attention to it. “By the second half, “Foot Locker” was trending on Twitter, as well, making the sneaker shop perhaps the big winner among non-Super Bowl brands looking to make marketing hay during advertising’s biggest day of the year,” it wrote.
It might not be a viral win like Oreo had in 2013, but it was a marketing stroke of luck that might be one of the most memorable outside of the big ad spenders this year.