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$5M + 30 Sec = No CTA?

Super Bowl LI is in the books! The New England Patriots' 34-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons drew on average 111.3 million viewers on FOX, according to Nielsen. It was a record setting first-ever over time game in the history of the Super Bowl. And, it was a great game to watch!

If you were one of the millions of people viewing the most watched show on television, you probably saw a commercial or two. Brands spent on average $5 million for a 30-second spot. The intent? To win over viewers and give people something to talk about. This stage is HUGE! Can a commercial make or break a brand? Perhaps. I mean, we're talking over 111 million people watching a brand's or agency's creativity at gaining interest within seconds, then keeping it and giving us all something to talk about. That's an engaged and attentive audience!

Now, I understand the purpose of advertising during the Super Bowl is branding. It works for brands we all know such as Coke and Pepsi as well as brands that aren't as well known but want their moment in a major spotlight creating a pivotal moment. The key, however, is to tell a funny or emotional story that people remember, talk about and creates a response. Response is key here.

With that said, there is one brand that really stood out to me: T-Mobile. Apart from the Justin Bieber spot being the first ad they aired of the night, it was also the only brand leveraging their "stage" time to accomplish the main purpose PLUS drive behavior outside the game...continue the engagement, have some fun, be memorable - and trackable!

Yes, T-Mobile, in my opinion, was THE winner this year with the Super Bowl commercials. They connected their #UnlimitedData theme with #UnlimitedMoves partnering with a music icon all generations recognize, they made it funny and entertaining then created a CALL TO ACTION in which everyone could participate. T-Mobile used the biggest stage and leveraged their ad spend to drive engagement beyond the Super Bowl. Kudos, T-Mobile!

How did T-Mobile do it? At the end of this 60-second spot, Mr. Bieber says "share your moves and I'll share my favorites" with #UnlimitedMoves, Post Your Moves Now with the Twitter, Instagram and Facebook icons displayed (all in T-Mobile pink! and Justin Bieber showing his moves for a little added motivation).

Even if you're not a T-Mobile customer, they encouraged everyone to participate. AND it gives T-Mobile DATA to create an "Opportunity Pipeline" to grow their business. By tracking the hashtag and participation they will be able to measure success and ROI. Why did more brands not leverage this opportunity? It's crazy to think the cost to add that final CTA to a Super Bowl ad is insignificant compared to benefit a brand could realize.

What was your favorite Super Bowl commercial and what CTA would you add?


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