This week, marketers are looking back at the Super Bowl while also gearing up for South by Southwest (SXSW). Some, like Bud Light and Burger King, are sharing results of their Big Game marketing efforts, while others, like Amazon Prime Video, HBO and Michelob Ultra, are revealing their experiential marketing plans for SXSW.
Here are three key insights we learned this week from Bud Light, Amazon Prime Video and Burger King.
Trolling competitors can spur change
Bud Light used its massive Super Bowl push to get consumers talking about what beer ingredients. It makes sense, as the company has been pushing for transparency in the category lately. Reporter Katie Richards caught up with Bud Light’s vp of marketing, Andy Goeler, to uncover the results of the campaign.
Per Goeler, not only did consumer interest rise, but competitors in the category made their ingredients easier to find.
“Miller and Coors had ingredients on their website, but it was very challenging to find,” Goeler said. “A few days after the Super Bowl, they moved it way up to the front, and now it’s a lot easier for consumers to have access to those ingredients. That’s what we want. It lets people compare what goes into the beer and what doesn’t go into the beer.”
Goeler continued, “As the lead brand in the industry, I’m extremely proud that we are taking the lead and bringing ingredient transparency into the beer industry.”
Prepare for failure and think about longterm consumer connection
Earlier this week, Burger King’s global CMO Fernando Machado took to LinkedIn to share lessons from the company’s unique Super Bowl campaign starring Andy Warhol. According to Machado, Burger King anticipated that consumers wouldn’t know who Andy Warhol was, and that if they didn’t recognize him, they would instantly be searching to find out. He also noted that, even if they didn’t get the spot, it wouldn’t hurt the brand.
“Even if some disliked the spot after fully understanding it, the film was never going to offend them,” wrote Machado. “It’s not like we were taking a political stance or confronting one’s belief system. One could even argue that the spot was aiming to democratize art (which is something very aligned with Warhol’s mindset). And that’s surely not a bad thing. In the end, we were basically showing a man (well … Andy Warhol) eating a burger. So, sure, some people will not be a fan, but they will not stop going to Burger King because of that.”
In the end, the ad was a longterm play to “move brand attributes,” wrote Machado.
“We never saw this campaign as an activity to increase sales,” he continued. “If we simply wanted to drive short-term sales, we would have used the money to run a promotion. It’s hard to beat a big coupon drop or an aggressive promotion if you are looking for short-term sales increase.”
Machado added that “if you want to build a brand for the long run, you need to find ways to connect with people at a different level.”
“This is even more important when it comes to connecting with younger generations,” he wrote. “Burger King has been in the marketplace since 1954. And if we don’t aim to connect with brains, stomachs and hearts, the brand will fail to engage with people at a deeper level.”
Experiential has to be engaging and Instagrammable
Amazon Prime Video, along with HBO and Michelob Ultra Pure Gold, unveiled SXSW experiential marketing plans this week. Prime Video will pitch its upcoming show Good Omens, based on the 1990 book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch.
The aim of the immersive activation is not only to get fans excited about the show, but to give festivalgoers a place to hang out away from the hustle and bustle of SXSW. Making sure that activities will keep attendees entertained is key, explained Mike Benson, head of marketing, Amazon Studios.
“Of course, we want people to take Instagram photos, but we also want people to go in and experience the show and feel like they’ve done something that adds some value to their life, not just to become a marketing tool for us,” said Benson. “… We don’t want to just tell people and sell people. We really want to engage customers in a way that will get them involved, help them understand the storyline and really bring them into these great characters that we’ve created on our series.”
Benson added that Amazon Prime Video is picky when it comes to putting on activations for that reason, and that’s “traditionally why we don’t just sponsor third-party events. We go out and we create something that will be very specific to what we’re trying to accomplish rather than just becoming a logo on someone else’s activation. That doesn’t really help drive our objectives.”