How Brands Can Use Native to Tap Into Super Bowl-like Audiences, Without The Super Bowl-like Price Tag

on The Future of Advertising

Despite the increasingly massive amounts of time we’re spending with digital content today (now over four hours a day, by most estimates), the Super Bowl telecast is still appointment viewing for the large part of America. (103 million people tuned in on Sunday.) Household brands from every possible vertical (Tide, Doritos, Jeep, Budweiser, the Avengers, etc.) bought airtime during Sunday’s broadcast, despite prices climbing north of $5 million for a 30-second spot. (Tide reportedly spent more than $15 million on its four ad spots.)

But while its built in TV audience will continue to make the Super Bowl a huge event for years to come, the way consumers experience brand content around big events like this has changed. For marketers, it’s important to think about the Super Bowl as more than just a four-hour block of TV time. Consumers experience the game in different ways, not just during the action, but throughout the day.

There is greater opportunity than ever for brands to connect with their consumers around major events like the Super Bowl, beyond TV advertising. Some may not even tune into the official broadcast, which requires brands to find creative ways to engage with these “fans.”

For example, with the Super Bowl, party hosts are going to spend the days and morning before the game looking up recipes and ideas for entertaining. Other consumers may simply scroll through their social media feeds hunting for early previews of the commercials themselves. Other TV viewers who tune in more for entertainment than for the football game itself will likely be online looking up player information and storylines.

All of these behaviors create opportunities to reach these consumers through native ads on high quality online publishers. Native allows brands to leverage the influence and editorial credibility of these publishers to help casual and avid fans experience everything that game day as to offer. There is a native ad format for every Super Bowl ad strategy:


Silent autoplay video run in-feed inside of a standard native ad with a headline and description, is a great way to generate excitement and fuel awareness for a brand, whether it is airing a TV spot during the game or not. Consumers crave any and all brand videos related to the Super Bowl, and native video reaches them at multiple touchpoints to maintain interest that lasts well after the game. In fact, native video generates a 14% lift in brand recall for instant play compared to other video formats.


These cards, which allow consumers to click through to a full content experience but stay in-feed, appeal to those consumers who are avidly hunting for big game content, such as recipes, brand content hubs, and player stats. This process doesn’t begin on Super Sunday, but happens for the entire month leading up to the game. Because they load up to six times faster than mobile sites, native content cards ensure that your content gets the attention it deserves.


Standard native display - directing people through to any brand asset you want to promote - is a great way to amplify custom content. Whether the content is created by the brand itself, through a partnership with a publisher, or third-party press that the brand simply seeks to amplify, native display provides a mechanism for distributing these stories. This drives organic sharing and engagement, with click-through-rates up to 10 times higher than non-native display ads.