Merkle (www.merkle.com), a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, released its fifth annual Digital Bowl Report, evaluating Super Bowl advertisers’ digital marketing efforts. This year, Avocados From Mexico and Groupon took first and second place.
The Digital Bowl Report presents a quantitative look at how brands leveraged social media, SEO, paid search, and digital media advertising to support their Super Bowl investments. After back-to-back second place finishes, Avocados From Mexico rose to take home the 2018 Merkle Digital Bowl trophy by notching the top score across paid search, organic search, and social media. Avocados had a strong Twitter presence, using pre-made content and amplifying reach with key partnerships. Avocados went live on Facebook with a chef making guacamole and also posted an extended version of its television ad to the platform. Placing second overall was Groupon, which finished among the top five performers in organic search, social, and paid search. Groupon capitalized on extending its reach through influencers sharing their content. Spokesperson Tiffany Haddish supported her commercial by posting on Instagram live from inside the stadium during the game, championing the brand with content in real-time.
“Advertising in the Super Bowl offers brands exposure on one of the world’s biggest stages,” said Dalton Dorné, senior vice president, marketing for Merkle. “The real winners are those brands that make this investment smarter by capitalizing on elevated audience awareness — capturing real-time user data and building meaningful digital experiences.”
For 2018, social media brands were judged on the content they created, how they engaged with users, and how they organized their conversations. 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, use of HTTPS protocol, and whether they kept mobile users in mind. The paid search evaluation examined relevant keyword targeting, ad copy, and landing page experiences, along with visibility across device types. Digital media advertising was evaluated based on whether brands were leveraging teaser video content prior to the game 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.
In support of the report findings, Merkle is hosting a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, February 6, at 2:00 p.m. ET. Attendees will walk away with actionable insights into how to leverage digital marketing to support their marketing initiatives.