Merkle (www.merkle.com), a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, released its fourth annual Digital Bowl Report, evaluating Super Bowl advertisers’ digital marketing efforts. This year, T-Mobile and Avocados from Mexico took first and second place, respectively.
The Digital Bowl Report presents a quantitative look at how brands leveraged social media, SEO, paid search, digital media advertising, and email marketing to support their Super Bowl investments. T-Mobile took home the 2017 Merkle Digital Bowl crown by its show of strength across all focus areas, and particularly excelling in the areas of social media, display, and paid social advertising. On social media, T-Mobile was active across Facebook and Twitter throughout the night, engaging users in two different languages. It was the only brand to request user-generated content during the game, and users responded with homemade dance videos in real time. In digital media, T-Mobile had a strong presence on YouTube with both in-stream and discovery ads. Complementing its video creative were targeted banner ads, and it spread messaging across major social networks with sponsored posts featuring major celebrities. T-Mobile also fared well in paid search, tying for second with five other brands.
“Modern marketing is about delivering people-based experiences at scale. Super Bowl advertisers that fully leverage the value of their investment by implementing a holistic digital approach and by delivering unique messages across platforms in real time are the real winners,” said Dalton Dorné, vice president, marketing for Merkle.
For 2017, social media brands were judged on the content they were creating, how they were engaging with users, and their rate of conversation. Brands scored more highly if they were agile and creative in their real-time marketing and responsiveness to users. In SEO, brands were graded on campaign landing page optimization, discoverability, optimization, and whether they had kept mobile users in mind. The paid search evaluation examined relevant keyword targeting, ad copy, email outreach, and relevant landing page experiences, along with visibility across device types. Digital media advertising was evaluated based on whether brands were leveraging teaser video content for retargeting and real-time ad buys during the game. Digital media scores were also based on the presence of appropriate display and social media retargeting pixels on web pages, as well as investment in paid social ad units.