How to Advertise to Broaden Your Audience
Although the Super Bowl is but a distant memory at this point in the year, the 51st edition of the big game yielded the most talked-about slew of commercials to date. Ad buyers estimate the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad jumped up to $5 million in 2017, and while there’s no denying the massive reach these commercials, the extra-large price tag begs the question: What’s the marketing rationale behind the big spend?
After analyzing Twitter-based conversation around advertisers during the Super Bowl, Fizziology determined that beer brands were among the most successful at broadening their audience base. More specifically, data shows that Anheuser-Busch, Busch and Michelob Ultra saw a shift in their audiences with brands seeing an increase in minorities and college-aged audiences in 2017.
Anheuser-Busch gets political
Anheuser-Busch’s immigrant-focused message drove a decrease in the percentage of conversation stemming from conservative and faith-based social users compared to conversation before the big day. While conversation from conservatives and faith-based users decreased, mentions from Hispanic and African American audiences talking about the brand increased.
Of the social users discussing the Anheuser-Busch commercial, 85 percent reacted positively to the ad with social users praising Anheuser-Busch for the brand’s “courage” while some social users went as far as pledging their “loyalty for a lifetime.”
15 percent of reactions to the polarizing ad were negative, with social users “adding them to the boycott list.” Mentions of the word “boycott” only drove 4 percent of Anheuser-Busch’s conversation, while conversation referring to Trump drove an additional 4 percent of the brand’s mentions.
Other brands who shared politically driven Super Bowl ads were frequently mentioned as part of the Anheuser-Busch conversation as users praised them for using their voice to speak out. In particular, Coca-Cola was mentioned in 4 percent of Anheuser-Busch conversation and Airbnb 3 percent.
Busch and Michelob Ultra reach millennials, but can’t win them over
Busch and Michelob Ultra both saw a significant increase in concentration from college-aged audiences. College-aged students went to social to share their surprise at seeing a Busch commercial in the Super Bowl. While some shared that they were excited to try the new cans, other said even though they enjoyed the commercial, they still weren’t going to drink the beer.
Michelob Ultra’s college-conversation was driven by the surprise ending of the commercial – with some social users sharing that “this is why they’re an athlete.” Others stated they work out simply so they can enjoy full calorie beer, instead of settling for a lower-calorie brew. Although the show aired before their birth – some social users positively noted the use of the nostalgic Cheers theme song.
Bud Light takes an opposite approach
While Anheuser-Busch, Busch and Michelob Ultra all saw increases from audiences outside of their brand’s normal, all-up conversation, Bud Light saw an increase in concentrated conversation from those aged 50 and over.
Older audiences were nostalgic for Bud Light’s ad featuring ghost-dog Spuds MacKenzie. This audience shared their excitement to once again see the dog being featured in a Bud Light commercial. Conversation stemming from social users aged 50 and older increased by 51 percent during the dig game.
Which audiences brands choose to target with their $5 million spots is a calculated science, and with powerful audience insights from social listening behind them, marketing teams will surely be measuring their commercials’ success over the next several months. Can one commercial cause a significant shift in a brand’s core consumer? We’ll be listening to find out.