Blog Insight

No Super Bowl budget? Here's the smarter media play.

Super Bowl LIV averaged 102 million viewers across several channels and streaming outlets.”1 Although viewership saw a 2% increase from last year, the 2020 Super Bowl’s slight viewership increase was the first after four consecutive years of decline.2 Even if a 30-second commercial doesn’t fit into your brand’s budget, there are still ways to take advantage of big events like the Super Bowl. Focus on tactics that authentically reach your audience while still allowing you to reach your business goals.

Geofencing Technology

Americans eat more food on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year except Thanksgiving. All that Super Bowl party prep equals huge opportunities for advertisers. For brands in the packaged food category, imagine targeting every grocery store nationwide as customers pick up their game-day supplies. That’s exactly what we did for our consumer packaged goods (CPG) client looking to drive awareness and sales for a new snackable item. We employed geofencing technology, which can be used to target locations down to a specific building, radius, or neighborhood. During this pregame campaign, customers who were physically at the grocery store were twice as likely to engage with an ad. Brands can target users in real time through their in-hand mobile devices when purchase is top of mind.

Connected TV and Online Video

While Super Bowl ads do reach millions, the question brands must ask themselves is: “How many of those viewers are actually MY customer?” TV and video allow brands to tell a powerful story, but the ultimate strength comes from telling your message to the right folks. Connected TV and online video give brands the opportunity to share a compelling message while using robust digital targeting to reach customers by specific demographics, interests, professions, or purchase behaviors. With Connected TV, brands can offer a premium “living room” experience with commercials running only on smart TVs. Online video ads allow customers to clearly understand your brand’s offering and take immediate action with a single click. For our client, digital video options were used to take advantage of TV viewing behaviors before and after the Super Bowl. This strategic play focused on cost-effective media channels that didn’t sacrifice video views.

Social Media

The easiest way to get your brand in on the Super Bowl buzz is by getting social. Viewers, like brands, are notorious for spending big over Super Bowl weekend. Eighty percent of Super Bowl viewers will be purchasing food and beverages for the game. Nine percent plan to buy a television, 8 percent intend to purchase decorations, and 6 percent plan to buy furniture. Social media, whether it be paid or organic, allows brands to create timely content tailored to their customers. If your followers consist of tech connoisseurs, feature devices they need to maximize their viewing experience. Does your brand fuel foodies? Highlight game-day recipes and party inspiration. Have fun with content and maximize your exposure. It has become expected for brands to run teaser commercials on social media in order to build buzz and encourage engagement, but nothing says that buzz must be paid off in a game commercial. The opportunity lies in connecting with your brand’s fans.


1. Brad Adgate, “What You Should Know about Super Bowl LIV Advertising and Broadcast,” Forbes website, January 27, 2020,

2. Michael McCleod, “Super Bowl Ratings Increased for First Time in Five Years,” Screen Rant website, February 3, 2020,