By Michael Fanning, Account Executive
With this year’s Super Bowl location of Miami, FL brands took advantage of the bustling social scene. This was done by implementing concerts, viewing parties and surprise events where big-name brands made big plays for earned and social media.
There were at least 34 concerts from January 30 to February 2, where the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs competed for the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl 54.
These events contained star power comparable to players in the Super Bowl. One event, AT&T TV Super Saturday Night concert is hosted by Lady Gaga; the Pepsi Zero Sugar Party will star Harry Styles; and Budweiser’s three-day takeover of South Beach Hotel, will include performances from Halsey, Diplo, and The Black Eyed Peas.
Brands are paying premium prices for performers at these events in hopes that attendees will capture and share their experiences on social media.
Samantha Stark, electronic voice phenomena of communications and PR at 160over90, which is working on events including the Super Bowl Music Fest featuring Guns N’ Roses and Maroon 5, agreed that social media is driving brands’ live-event strategy.
"This will go down as the Super Bowl with the most experiential and Instagrammable moments," Stark says. "So many of these events have been designed keeping in mind that people want to create and curate their own content for social posts."
The trend will "hit a peak at Super Bowl LIV," Stark says, partially because Miami is known for its sunshine, beaches and diverse visual arts scene. "You’re seeing brands invest in really beautiful backdrops," she adds. "They understand that visuals are the biggest currency for social content."
Brands are also creating unique pop-ups. 160over90 is working with Lowe’s, an NFL sponsor for the first time this season, on its ‘Lowe’s Hometown activation’ in the Miami Beach Convention Center. It is a themed neighborhood with 32 custom-built dwellings to represent each NFL team. The inspiration: Where would the mascot of each team live?
It is rare that we will ever experience as many promotional events at a Super Bowl as we did this year in Miami. If the Super Bowl is ever hosted by Los Angelos or New York we might see a similar narrative.