Back in January, I weighed in on Pepsi and Coke’s approach to the Super Bowl – and now the results are trickling in.
Pepsi, as you may recall, invested 50 million dollars in locking up Beyoncé as an official spokesperson and also ran a Pre-Super Bowl advertising blitz to drive fans to submit photos for possible inclusion in a 30-second crowd-sourced video that would introduce Beyoncé for her halftime performance. Coke, on the other hand, launched Coke Chase – an advertising campaign that featured three groups (the ‘Cowboys’, the ‘Showgirls’ and the ‘Bandlanders’) racing for a bottle of Coke – with online fan participation determining the ultimate ‘winner’.
Below is the initial data, but it does not allow us to draw a definitive conclusion, unfortunately.
Coke reported 1.3 million hits to its promotional website, 910,000 votes cast for the three groups (‘Cowboys’, ‘Showgirls’ and ‘Badlanders’) via the website and twitter and 7.3 million ‘sabotages’ (online participants who opted slow one of the teams down with throw roadblocks) launched from the campaign site. The Coke Chase TV spot was viewed more than 2.5 million times online. In total, Coke generated 12.01 million online brand impressions through its promotional site and complimentary activity on Twitter.
Please keep in mind that these numbers may have been even higher had the Coke Chase site not crashed shortly after their first in-game TV spot aired. In fact, the Coke Chase site suffered from various problems throughout the game – directly impacting site visitor’s ability to cast votes or interact with additional video content.
Given that there is no public data revealing what the all-up budget was for the totality of this promotion, let alone whether sales of Coke jumped over this promotional period, it is difficult to determine whether or not this investment was “worth it”.
We know Pepsi paid 50 million to contract Beyoncé as a spokesperson – and I think that most everyone would agree that her performance during halftime was excellent. Which is a good thing for her as it was seen by over 104 million people worldwide.
The ad, which was the first crowd-sourced Super Bowl halftime performance introduction, aired just before Beyoncé took the stage. For me, the spot was underwhelming, but that's just my opinion. Like with the Coke campaign, we do not know how many cans or bottles of Pepsi this campaign – and the Beyoncé performance – actually moved off the shelf. We do know that Pepsi enticed fans to submit 120,000 photos – and that sounds like a big number… but with no knowledge of the budget spent to generate that activity – and no idea how Pepsi plans to cultivate its relationship with these committed fans - it’s impossible to determine whether that ‘investment’ was fundamentally "worth it".
It looks like both brands made a concerted effort – and significant investment – to make their presence during the global event count, but it appears that both brands fundamentally missed the mark. While I would not call either endeavor a ‘fail’, I certainly would not label them ‘wins’ either.
What do you think?