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The Best Digital Advertiser? Who won the 2019 Digital Bowl and Why

While the Patriots may have won the big game last night, Olay took the trophy for this year’s 2019 Digital Bowl. What is the Digital Bowl, you ask? Now in its sixth year, the report, compiled by experts within Merkle, analyzes advertisers on their ability to meet specific and objective criteria across paid search, organic search, social media, and digital media marketing across the web. Game day sponsors often fail to plan a holistic digital support strategy, losing visibility to competitors that engage second-screen audiences during the game. Our winners go beyond just the tv ad and show that they have what it takes to create a multi-channel media campaign to support their tv spot.

This Year's Winner: Olay

Olay absolutely killed it with their first big game campaign. Its ad featured Sarah Michelle Gellar, former star of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, centered around #KillerSkin in an intense, Michael Myers-like spot. To support the ad, Olay heavily used Instagram Stories and social platforms to support its hashtag and offered a “Killer deal” on a custom landing page.

Olay Instagram Story

In an effort to produce conversions from the inflow of traffic to its page, Olay offered a free face mask with purchase of any whip with the promo code KILLERSKIN, as well as 25% off site-wide. Anyone who swiped up on its Instagram story was brought to the landing page. Olay also used Stories to repost user generated content as well as promote a view into the Olay box at the big game. Although the ad ran in the first quarter, Olay leveraged social media influencers through the entire game to keep the buzz and web traffic flowing through the whole night.

Olay’s Super Bowl-focused landing page and optimized YouTube video for campaign related queries helped it secure a top 3 SEO finish. In paid search, Olay had a visible, non-brand presence and tied ad copy, landing pages, and ad extensions directly to its Super Bowl ad. Additionally, it leveraged retargeting pixels across social. Overall, Olay had very strong, compelling paid social creative.

Advertisers can learn from Olay’s Digital Bowl win.

Leveraging a highly viewed platform like Instagram Stories, repurposing user generated content, and employing influencers allowed Olay to reach a highly targeted audience well after the television ad ran.

To read more on Olay and how we ranked other big game advertisers, check out Merkle’s brand new 2019 Digital Bowl Report!

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