Want to get over two billion (yes, with a “B”) social impressions nearly a week before your commercial spot is aired? That’s is what Avocados From Mexico (AFM), in its third year entering the Super Bowl advertising space, just accomplished.
Every year dozens of brands meet in one of the most competitive advertising spaces: The Super Bowl. All showcase their most creative work through multi-million 30-second and one-minute TV spots, but the most digitally savvy compete to dominate the conversation in the ever-evolving social space.
In it’s first two years entering this advertising arena, AFM ranked #2 among all brands in terms of digital engagement, based on impressions. Last year, the brand’s Super Bowl campaign garnered more than 133,000 social mentions and at least 828,000,000 impressions. This year’s campaign, using the hashtag #AvoSecrets, is poised to deliver triple the reach.
According to Simply Measured, AFM’s digital campaign has already delivered more than two billion impressions. Yes, that’s two billion. The first billion was hit five days before the big game and billion more between then and kickoff.
How does a smaller brand that started participating in one of the largest social conversations just two years ago achieve these results among some of the most digitally savvy (and significantly larger budgeted) brands?
“Everything we do within our Super Bowl campaign is done with the intention of having people participate in our conversation,” says Ivonne Kinser, digital marketing director at Avocados From Mexico, who led the strategy for the Super Bowl digital activation. “With that conversation comes genuine, authentic word-of-mouth interaction and advocacy that does more than any strategically crafted message can.”
After chatting with Kinser, we distilled AFM’s strategy into three key steps that any business can learn from and follow.
1. Know your KPIs and focus.
Knowing your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and focus all of your efforts around those areas. For Avocados From Mexico, Kinser reports their KPIs are views of the Super Bowl commercial spot (live during the game and online) and domination of the conversation in the socialsphere.
For an event like the Super Bowl, the social conversation is massive. From the moment brands start to release their spots to digital publishers and through their online platforms, buzz spreads quickly. The amount of Super Bowl content is overwhelming, and social platforms tend to get cluttered with brand messages and user comments. Keeping focused on their KPIs helps keep Kinser and her team manage the creative and the design that goes into every aspect of the digital activation.
“Absolutely everything we do within our Super Bowl campaign, from our media plan buy to our UX (user experience), interactive design, and even down to a single tweet, has the purpose to drive users to watch the spot, or to participate in our conversation.”
2. Overthinking is encouraged.
“This is probably the only situation in life where I recommend overthinking,” says Kinser. “When you’re crafting a digital strategy, the reach you can buy with your media dollars is limited, but what you can accomplish using technology and creativity is unlimited. Keep thinking. Keep tossing out ideas. Keep listening to the conversation as it evolves.”
When it comes to UX, overthink the ways in which you can engage your audience and then re-engage them with new experiences. Invite them to participate in your conversation, and give them multiple avenues to share, play, and interact. This year, AFM’s digital team held multiple “overthinking” sessions where each step of the user journey was analyzed. The result is a single hub with 16 user engagement experiences under the #AvoSecrets umbrella.
I spent more time engaging on AFM’s hub than I’d like to publicly admit, but, hey, it’s in the name of research! What I found useful was the interface used was one that anyone would find familiar, a mobile phone, with an app-based design where people could choose the ways in which they want to interact with the brand. Clever. (Personally, I got a laugh at the Captain of Initiation’s voicemail. If you do, too, then we can be friends.)
3. Humanize everything.
No paid media is as strong as human influence. It’s not a secret that influencer marketing is eating the lunch of traditional digital media in many ways, but the impact of this format is even clearer when we measure the performance of it in a highly competitive event.
At a very low cost CPM (cost per thousand impressions) of $1, AFM would have spent over $1M on social media only for the Super Bowl (based on their results so far). Instead, they relied on influencer marketing, or what Kinser calls “the modern WOM” (word of mouth). This influencer marketing strategy helped the brand achieve over 1B organize social impressions just half way through the campaign, and days before the big game.
“Since entering this space, we’ve been working on building our brand ambassador base,” Kinser reports, “and have amassed over 100,000 individuals that we activate on different campaigns.”
This year AFM teamed up with over 200 social influencers and three celebrities — Jon Lovits, Jeremy Piven, and Tim Tebow — to help with the #AvoSecrets campaign, with multiple days of engagement yet to come.
Even if you don’t have a big budget, you can leverage the humanizing power of influencer marketing to expand your reach. Collaborating with others who may not typically be associated with your space is one way to really expand the conversation. Doing this, and focusing on a user experience where people engage on their terms, while staying focused on specific goals are three keys to success in any digital campaign. This is exactly what AFM is doing. And, from my perspective, is doing it pretty darn well.
Jill Schiefelbein is a former professor, professional speaker, and business communication expert. From analyzing documents obtained from military raids of terrorist camps to dissect jihadi communication strategies, building an online educat…