February 2, 2015, Charlottesville, VA – Search and digital marketing agency, Merkle | RKG released its second annual Digital Bowl Report, evaluating Super Bowl advertisers’ digital marketing efforts. This year, newcomer Wix and longtime sponsor Bud Light took first and second place, respectively. The two brands outshined everyone else in almost every category, taking top honors for truly integrated marketing. Loctite, another big game rookie, was a top performer in social. Doritos had great SEO, and big names Coca-Cola and Mercedes-Benz rounded out the winners in Display.
The Digital Bowl Report examines the array of digital channels that brands have at their disposal: social media, SEO, paid search, display advertising, and email marketing. Wix got all the little digital things right. With a great paid search and organic search strategy implemented prior to the big game, Wix was ready to corral users looking for relevant content. The brand also showed up on game day with great social content, engagement, and conversation throughout the game. Coming in second, Bud Light locked down its presence at the top of search results with focused ads, making up for a tepid social presence. The brand excelled in display marketing, running pre-roll ads on super bowl commercials and executing premium display buys across the web during the game to stay in front of users on their second screens in real-time.
The Super Bowl is advertising’s biggest day, with media costs increasing every year. “The day after the big game, from water coolers to the halls of Madison Avenue, everyone will be talking about the funniest or the most touching ad, but those measures are all subjective. We wanted to take a look at harder metrics, at the efforts which really show whether a brand is prepared to compete in the digital space,” said Dalton Dorné, CMO, Merkle | RKG. “If you’re going to spend $4.5 million on a thirty-second spot, you better make it count.”
The 2014 Digital Bowl Report looked at only social media, SEO, and paid search marketing. This year’s Report added display advertising and email marketing to the rubric. On social media, brands were judged on the content they were creating, how they were engaging with users, and their rate of conversation. Brands scored more highly if they were agile and creative in their real-time marketing and responsive to users. In SEO, brands were graded on campaign landing page optimization, discoverability, and whether they had kept mobile users in mind. Paid search examined relevant keyword targeting, ad copy, and relevant landing page experiences. Display looked at whether brands were leveraging teaser video content for retargeting and real-time ad buys during the game. Lastly, brands received a bonus point if they took advantage of email marketing’s direct line to their existing customers.
“Creativity and the ‘big idea’ are still critical to a campaign’s success,” said George Kamide, Manager of Social Media and Content. “But gone are the days of the big TV play. Advertisers need to take advantage of all the marketing channels they can. It can seem daunting, but integration is vital if you’re going to leverage users’ attention for maximum success. As we’ve seen this year, a newcomer can beat out the bigger brands for visibility when they coordinate their efforts on all fronts.”
The full report is available for download at: http://rkg.co/digitalbowl2015.
About Merkle | RKG
Founded in 2003, Merkle | RKG is a search and digital marketing agency that combines superior marketing talent with world-class digital media capabilities to create the industry’s most effective data-driven digital marketing solutions. Merkle | RKG drives business to clients by maximizing a full range of opportunities including paid search, SEO, product listing ads, social media, display advertising, and comparison shopping engine management services. Merkle | RKG is part of Merkle (www.merkleinc.com), the largest privately-held customer relationship marketing agency in the nation. Merkle | RKG is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA with offices in Bend, OR and Boston, MA. For more information, visit www.merklerkg.com or follow @MerkleRKG on Twitter.
Merkle, a technology enabled, data driven customer relationship marketing (CRM) firm, is the nation’s largest privately-held agency. For more than 25 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. By combining a complete range of marketing, technical, analytical and creative disciplines, Merkle works with clients to design, execute and evaluate connected CRM programs. With more than 2,500 employees, the privately held corporation is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland with additional offices in Bend, OR; Boston; Charlottesville, VA; Chicago; Denver; Little Rock; London; Minneapolis; Montvale, NJ; Nanjing; New York; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; San Francisco; Hagerstown, MD and Shanghai. For more information, contact Merkle at 1-877-9-Merkle or visit www.merkleinc.com.