5 Tips for Kicking Off a Superior Super Bowl Campaign
The holidays have come and are beginning to disappear, and we know what that means in the world of digital advertising: everyone will tune out for the holiday break, only to come back and furiously work on...SUPER BOWL campaigns!
These projects - which often involve big-budget TV commercials, digital extensions, content integration and social media takeovers - are wonderfully unique because of their high visibility and massive reach that stretches way beyond viewers of the actual game - and also typically involves ultra-short timelines for development and deployment.
Hook QA, a company focused on digital advertising and quality assurance, made this list in the spirit of holiday giving and is hoping that you’ll check it twice. Below are five tips for managing digital projects under challenging deadlines.
Our New Year’s resolution: to keep your agency and clients shining brightly on the front page of Mashable or TechCrunch on Monday morning without even the tiniest chink in your Super Bowl armour.
1. Assess the risk
When more than 100 million people are whisked away from the action of Sunday’s Big Game to a commercial that introduces your client’s brand-new microsite, you will need to do more than say a few Hail Marys to guarantee everything launches without a hitch.
Prepare for launch by gathering the team and logging any issues that arise. What happens when the API or other third-party dependencies take too long to respond, time out, or worse, go down? Are all images, copyrights and legal verbiage represented in your site/app? If the volume of issues is high, pump the brakes, rally the team and get a confidence check from each core member.
2. Be visible
When you consider the expenses that go into a Super Bowl advertising campaign, it’s hard to imagine that a marketer would want to risk missing out on even 1% of this captive, 114.4 million-member audience. The goal should be to ensure that no group is neglected. People with visual or hearing impairments, slightly older devices or slower connections should all be able to engage.
The solution is to select technology that keeps the lowest common denominator in mind. For platforms on the fringe, be prepared to show a message asking them to update or view your campaign on another platform.
3. Do a load test
Many a site has failed to compensate for the rush of Super Bowl traffic. Anytime you’re talking Super Bowl numbers, it’s wise to consider whether the servers and APIs can hold up to a surge in web traffic. The front and backend architecture should be sound enough to handle a high volume of traffic, and load testing will take it through its paces to ensure a smooth experience. Don’t forget to monitor the front end during the load testing to observe and pinpoint any needed optimizations. Tools such as Google’s PageSpeed can help identify those tweaks needed to improve overall performance for the target users.
4. Remember Murphy’s Law
What can happen will happen. The name of the game is to be prepared for as many Gotcha! moments as possible. Even the power outage of a past Super Bowl highlights the need to consider all failure points.
It's important to have a triage plan in case there are points of failure, and that the entire team—the client, agency and production partners —have a monitoring plan and clear communication channels.
5. Analyse the results
While it is often forgotten during the sprint to the finish, this item is guaranteed to be the first thing the CMO asks about on Monday morning. While crafting your copy decks, wires and other requirements documents, make sure to craft an analytics manifest and verify that results are going into the analytics dashboard correctly. Knowing what you want to measure will help position your campaign for success and allow you to highlight the impact of your ad with ease.
With an endgame like that, your digital Super Bowl launch should be prepared to withstand Sunday's stampede and avoid any assaults by those critical Monday morning quarterbacks.
Stewart Warner is the Director of QA at Los Angeles based Hook QA