Mexico – These Brands Scored Touchdowns Without Investing Directly in the Super Bowl

What: Superama and Tecate Mexico took advantage of the context of the Super Bowl without investing millions in advertising during the NFL championship, on February 5th.
Why It Matters: Last Sunday, about 114 million viewers in the United States alone watched the Atlanta Falcons face off against the New England Patriots during the televised event with the world’s most expensive ads per-second.

According to The Wall Street Journal, each 30-second commercial broadcast during Super Bowl LI cost $5 million, or $166,666 per second.

But not all brands need to spend large sums to benefit from Super Bowl exposure. Companies are increasingly getting more out of the excitement surrounding the NFL championship without necessarily placing commercials during the game.

“The Super Bowl has a lot of emotional impact that companies want to leverage to tie their brand to the passion of American football,” says Jose Manuel D. Covadies, managing partner of Espiral, a BTL agency in Mexico.

For example, Superama (of Grupo Walmart) launched an on-site activation event for a thousand people at the Alboa restaurant in Mexico, where the main attraction was a performance (at different times throughout the match) by the Seahawks cheerleaders.

Marcelo Castro Cardona
Marcelo Castro, Deputy Director of Commercial Planning, Superama.

“In Mexico, there are 21 million fans of American football. As a brand, we share a passion for sports and well-being with these fans,” says Marcelo Castro, Deputy Director of Commercial Planning for Superama.

The on-site activation was complemented by a dynamic ad on Instagram, under the hashtag #SuperamaNFL, where people uploaded pictures they took of themselves in the restaurant that were then flashed on jumbo screens.

NFL ratings will definitely deliver brand exposure, however ROI and recall are more related to the sponsors activation than to the property,” explains Vicente Navarro, Vice-President of Product Development at marketing agency AC&M Group.

Covadies agrees, saying that while advertising gives reach, activations generate engagement with consumers, and although the cost per impact is greater, the effectiveness and linkage is much deeper.

Image result for tecate logoAdvertising and activations can work synergistically at times, such as with Tecate (of Cervecería Moctezuma), which ran spots announcing, in Mexico, that it would donate a sum equivalent to advertising during the Patriots-Hawks championship game to Red Nacional de Refugios, a women’s association. In addition, the brewing company announced it would match one peso for each tweet with the hashtag #PorEllasAsiSomos, garnering 3.7 million impressions for the brand.

“It’s a good strategy— in the end, the main motive was the Super Bowl. Social marketing, accompanied by a social sporting phenomenon such as the Super Bowl, results in impact and capture of a secondary market,” adds Covadies, noting that the hashtag was tweeted even by those who are not NFL followers, to support the donation.

Written by Gabriela Gutiérrez M.