7 Super Bowl Advertisers Scoring With Digital Content

Squarespace, Doritos, Skittles, Victoria's Secret, Nissan, Pepsi, Coca-Cola extend their Super Bowl plays.

Content Marketing

What do Academy-Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges, face scanning technology, a faux press conference, digital valentines, and an at-home ball pit have in common? They are all elements tied to the branded digital content Super Bowl advertisers are utilizing to capture consumers’ attention leading up to the game.

Here are seven supplemental digital campaigns worth noting.

1. Squarespace’s Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes

Website publishing platform Squarespace has partnered with actor and musician Jeff Bridges, on what it calls “a new project launching during Super Bowl XLIX.”

“We wanted to create a campaign to illustrate that any idea, no matter how wild or weird, can be presented beautifully and meaningfully through Squarespace,” said CEO Anthony Casalena in a press release. “Instead of being built around an ad, our campaign is built around a real project on our platform.”

The collaboration, “Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes,” on the website DreamingWithJeff, features “a unique album of relaxing sounds, guided meditations and stories designed to lull you to sleep.”

The content was created and recorded by Bridges and the sleeping tracks are free to stream online or as a “pay what you like” release on Bridges’ Squarespace site.

Limited-run cassette tapes and vinyls will be available following the ad’s debut and five limited-edition vinyls will be auctioned separately. 100 percent of the retail price from each album sold will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Squarespace will debut its second Super Bowl ad, a 30-second spot, in the first half of the game.

A 30-second teaser was released January 28.

The campaign was created and produced by global advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy New York.

“At its core, the campaign is a product demonstration. We used Squarespace’s beautiful design and ecommerce capabilities to take an idea that seemed a bit odd, and turn it into something real and meaningful,” said David Kolbusz, executive creative director at Wieden+Kennedy New York, in a statement. “The album is a legitimate Jeff Bridges project, sold on a Squarespace site, with profits going to No Kid Hungry. And best of all, it works. His voice is like oak and leather and cigar smoke and the wilderness. I personally have fallen asleep to the recording on more than one occasion.”

The brand is also using the hashtag #sleepingtapes to encourage discussion.

2. Doritos’ Face-o-Rater

PepsiCo’s Doritos brand, which somewhat presumptuously says it “has consistently presented some of the most memorable and talked-about ads of Super Bowls past” has once again curated 10 consumer-submitted videos in in the umpteenth iteration of its Crash the Super Bowl contest. And, as per usual, two finalist ads will air during the Super Bowl broadcast, one selected by fan votes on the Doritos website and the other by the Doritos brand.

This year, however, the website also features a tool called the Face-o-Rater, which accesses consumers’ webcams and microphones to gauge their reactions while watching the finalist ads and to deliver an estimated score of reach fan’s response to the ads based on how big said fan smiles and how loud he or she laughs.

“When it comes to what you like, your face never lies,” the site says.

3. Skittles’ #TeamSkittles Tailgate and Faux Press Conference

First-time Super Bowl advertiser Skittles has no shortage of goofball digital content on its Tumblr, including stills from a faux press conference with notoriously media-shy and Skittles-loving Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch as well as GIFs from its #TeamSkittles tailgate teaser with former football player Kurt Warner.

It has also released a special Seattle Mix Super Bowl XLIX Edition.

4. Victoria’s Secret’s Love Locks

After teasing a football-themed spot reminding consumers not to drop the ball on Valentine’s Day, lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret has added a valentine creation tool to its website.

In a post on its website, the brand invites consumers to “symbolize your love with a love lock.”

Through February 16, fans can use the Love Locks online destination to “share your love for your sweetie (or bestie!) from wherever you are,” the post says.

The site uses Google Maps and Google Street View to “let you choose that special location, whether it was the site of your first date, first kiss, first ‘I love you’-or your favorite night out,” the brand says. “Just map it, lock it and share it.”

Locations include Paris, New York, Seattle, London and Budapest. After picking a location, users then choose a theme, type a message and send.

5. Nissan’s #WithDad

Car manufacturer Nissan, which has been teasing its Super Bowl plans with a social media campaign using YouTube influencer videos and the hashtag #withdad, recently upped its Super Bowl buy to 90 seconds and released a short preview of the spot.

The brand says its ad will “tell a unique family story while maintaining a strong Nissan brand connection.”

“We can’t wait to share this emotional story with the Super Bowl audience and we hope seeing the first few seconds will whet America’s appetite to watch the spot during the game,” said Fred Diaz, senior vice president of Nissan sales and marketing and operations in the U.S., in a press release. “We think we’ve captured and told a touching story about a family’s struggles with work-life balance in our 90 seconds during the game. But what we really want is to start a conversation about family that lasts well beyond the game.”

To seed the effort, Nissan tapped YouTube influencers like Epic Meal Time, Dude Perfect, Jabbawockeez, Convos with My 2-year Old, Roman Atwood and Action Movie Kid, who have posted content, which has been aggregated on the #withdad hub on the Nissan YouTube channel. The brand also rolled out the website withdad.

As of January 29, Dude Perfect’s Dad Edition effort was the most popular video to result from the collaboration with about 1.9 million views.

Nissan has also encouraged fans to share their own stories about their families.

“#withdad is much more than a hashtag, however,” Nissan said in an announcement. “It’s a celebration of the many innovative and exciting ways that dads make life better for their families – and how they strive to find a perfect work-life balance.”

Interestingly, both Toyota and Dove Men+Care, which also have dad-themed ad content in the Super Bowl, are also asking fans to submit hashtagged dad content.

Toyota has asked Twitter users to “engage in the unique game day conversation by helping to create a cultural moment in real time” by composing a tweet with up to four photos of their dads using the hashtag #OneBoldChoice.

And Dove Men+Care wants consumers to “show the personal, caring side of men in their lives by sharing photos across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram” with the hashtag #RealStrength. The brand says it is highlighting select photos throughout Dove Men+Care digital content.

6. Pepsi’s Vines and Headin’ to Halftime Video Series

For its part, soda brand Pepsi is trying to get the most bang for its halftime show sponsorship buck with lots and lots of Vines, including partnerships with football players Nick Mangold, Matt Forte and Jared Mayo, as well as Tostitos, Walmart, Dollar General and Papa John’s.

The brand also asks Vine users to “Take a break from whatever you’re doing and Vine your performance” with the hashtag “#GetHyped for a chance to be revined.”

The brand also has a Hyped for Halftime video series on YouTube, including actor Craig Robinson and a slew of famous faces, like halftime performer Katy Perry, as well as singers Blake Shelton and Montell Jordan and the aforementioned football players.

7. Coca-Cola’s #MakeItHappy

In a blog post, soft drink giant Coca-Cola said it plans to “use advertising’s biggest stage to invite the world to help make the World Wide Web a happier place.”

The brand has a 60-second spot airing in the first quarter that will “tackle the pervasive negativity polluting social media feeds and comment threads across the Internet,” but it will not release the full spot prior to the game.

Instead, Coke is rolling out seven supporting films united under the hashtag #MakeItHappy, or what it describes as “a call to action to promote positivity both online and in the real world.”

These films include three short teasers airing on TV and in cinemas that feature snippets from the commercial and “seed the #MakeItHappy hashtag to spark interest” as well as four online-exclusive vignettes with testimonials from teens and celebrities who have experienced online negativity, including race car driver – and longtime GoDaddy spokeswoman – Danica Patrick and football player Michael Sam, as well as those who make it a mission to spread happiness online, like Kid President.

“Our goal is to inspire America to become a collective force for positivity,” said Jennifer Healan, Coca-Cola’s group director of integrated marketing content, in the post. “The broadcast is first and foremost, but ‘second-screen’ engagement, like what we’re doing with #MakeItHappy, is what inspires people to participate and will keep the movement going well beyond the Big Game.”

Which of these digital efforts do you think has proven most effective?