Even before getting the Super Bowl handoff this weekend, Twin Cities marketers started to form plans for the game here next year.
The NFL’s big game, one of the largest advertising platforms in the world, will offer local companies a chance to reach millions of consumers.
“It’s the biggest show in town,” said Andi Dickson, founder and chief engagement officer at local advertising agency SixSpeed. “We know that it will bring a large influx of spectators, guests, media. All businesses should be preparing for that.”
The Super Bowl was last played in Minneapolis in 1992, when there were only a few days of activities leading up to the game. Today, the hoopla includes a football theme park called the NFL Experience that runs for 10 days and a fan festival with music and games.
“It’s just a huge production now,” said Maureen Bausch, chief executive of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee. “It’s a bigger marketing opportunity.”
Bausch, as well as representatives from a host of Twin Cities-based companies, including Best Buy Co. and U.S. Bancorp, visited Houston this week to observe Super Bowl-related events. “I even saw a church that was promoting the Super Bowl,” Bausch said.
For advertisers, the Super Bowl offers 110 million TV viewers watching, many millions who also engage on social media. “It might be wise to think about it as a moment for a heritage brand or a brand that’s unique to the Minneapolis brand or culture to take on the national stage,” said Erin Keeley, chief marketing officer at Minneapolis advertising agency Mono.
For those who want to spend considerably less than the current $5 million price tag for a 30-second spot, brands could also run ads locally for as low as $70,000 that only viewers in the region would see.
“Advertising locally and regionally gives you a lot of bang for your buck,” said Mike Caguin, the chief creative officer at Minneapolis ad shop Colle + McVoy, which helped create local ads to air on Sunday for Explore Minnesota Tourism and petroleum brand Cenex.
To prepare a successful campaign that aligns well with a company’s brand takes time and requires more thought than just handing out free merchandise to fans, Dickson said. His agency has helped run the Red Bull Crashed Ice event in St. Paul for years and is already talking to companies about the Super Bowl. “Make sure that you have a plan for your staff and for the consumer experience,” Dickson said.
The big game will also attract tens of thousands of visitors to the Twin Cities.
Select Comfort Corp., based in Plymouth, agreed to be one of several corporate founding partners for the Super Bowl committee. Partnerships can range from an investment of a couple hundred thousand to $1.5 million in exchange for a package that offers access to the game and events along with branding opportunities and other engagement activities.
Arden Hills-based Land O’Lakes also has signed on as a partner even though the agricultural co-op doesn’t have a history of advertising with the Super Bowl.
“It just gives us a new and different way to tell the farm-to-fork story, and the Land O’Lakes story, and the fact that we have more to the business than just the butter that everybody thinks of us for,” said Kim Olson, chief communications officer with Land O’Lakes.
Bayport, Minn.-based Andersen Corp. already has an idea on how it can use next year’s Super Bowl to market its windows and doors. It will give several architecture teams money to design warming houses using Andersen products. One design will then be chosen to be used for warming houses that Andersen plans to erect for visitors around town for the Super Bowl, said Kimberly Welch, its vice president of communications.
“I just think it’s going to be a fantastic way for us to creatively think about how we are going to support the event and at the same time build relevance to our brand,” said Welch, who visited Houston this week.
Smaller companies can also get involved in various ways including possible pop-up stores along Nicollet Mall that will be known as “Super Bowl Boulevard,” Bausch said.
Still, despite the Super Bowl’s appeal, Keeley noted one major challenge for marketers: Everyone is competing at the top of their game.
“There’s a lot of noise,” she said. “That’s always a tough creative challenge.”