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OEM Super Bowl Ads Work But Are Dealerships Ready?

By John Feeley

With Super Bowl Sunday quickly approaching, some will focus on the battle between head coaching brothers or on the finality of Ray Lewis’ Hall of Fame career. Others will focus on the commercials and advertisements, as much of a fixture for the Big Game as the coin toss.

While thinking about the potential ROI of paying a reported $4 million for a 30 second commercial, I started researching whether commercials had an effect on the search interest for brands that advertised during the game. I started with Bud Light and Doritos, two brands that advertise frequently during the Super Bowl. What I found was impressive: search interest showed major spikes in the 1-2 weeks following the game. Below are some screenshots from Google Insights to show interest over all of 2012:

Doritos1 BudLight2Shifting focus, I wanted to see how search interest for car brands was affected by airing commercials during the Super Bowl. The results are very much the same: the money is worth the investment. I did a search for FIAT and Chrysler in 2012 as well as Volkswagen in 2011, after this commercial:

Volkswagen3 Chrysler4 Fiat5

The Commercials Generate Interest But What Do Dealers Do To Maximize Opportunity?

As evidenced on these graphs, the overall interest for the brand spikes for the week after the Super Bowl so it’s important that dealerships are prepared and ready to go before, during, and after the game. Here are some tips to make sure that you maximize the opportunities and bring in users:

Coordinate efforts with your OEM: Make sure that you’re on the same page as the OEM and find out as much information as possible about the ad they will run. Information you should look for includes any specific vehicle they plan on featuring, any graphics or designs they plan on using, anything social media related they plan on using in the commercial (hashtags, Twitter handles, contests, etc.), and when the ad will be run during the game.

Get your ducks in a row: Once you find out the details from the OEM, you can move forward with executing your strategy. If you do paid search, make sure remarketing banners are approved by Google BEFORE the game so that they can be timed to run right after the commercial airs.

Furthermore, begin to target relevant paid ads based on the commercial airing during the game. There will be a lot of search interest for the OEM brand name so it’s important to capitalize on this in your market. Also, create a custom landing page and/or information on your website that’s relevant to the ad running during the game.

Finally, be ready on social media. Utilize Twitter search to monitor the hashtag the OEM is using. Try to engage with users who are tweeting about your brand(s) during the game and try to build a potential relationship/lead. You can also create a custom and local hashtag based on what the OEM will use during the commercial and promote it. Engage on Facebook with information about the ad and how you plan on relating it to your dealership, whether it’s through a sale or highlighting the model they use in the ad.

With the game quickly approaching, is your dealership ready?