Last February, after advertising during the Super Bowl for the first time, sports betting company DraftKings had its highest acquisition day yet with more than one million entries into its pool. of Super Bowls.
It made the decision to advertise again during the Big Game – despite last year’s low ratings and the price of a 30-second spot increasing by $1 million from 5, $5 million to $6.5 million — an easy decision, according to its chief marketing officer Stephanie Sherman.
This year, the company is again using its Super Bowl ad as a way to entice potential customers to interact with the brand beyond their TV screens by offering 10,000 people free bets with the chance to be one of five people to win $1 million each.
The 30-second Super Bowl spot, which will air during the first quarter and was produced by Vayner Media, will reveal that they can only place bets during the game.
“We want to continue to differentiate ourselves,” Sherman said of the company’s goal of making its Super Bowl ad more interactive while introducing a new brand character, the Goddess of Fortune. “As we look to the Super Bowl, now is the time for us to reintroduce the brand.”
DraftKings is one of many brands looking to gamify its Super Bowl advertising to make it more interactive, often through a contest or sweepstakes. DraftKings sees this as an opportunity to “engage with consumers as they watch the game” while “uniquely offering that interaction,” Sherman noted.
It’s unclear how much DraftKings plans to spend on its Super Bowl publicity effort, as Sherman declined to share those numbers. According to data from Kantar, DraftKings spent $164.2 million on advertising in the first nine months of 2020. These figures exclude the cost of social media advertising, however, as Kantar does not track such spending.
“To maximize their dollars, brands maximize consumer engagement,” said Brendan Gahan, social director and partner at Mekanism, when asked why companies are looking to gamify their Super Bowl advertising. “They drive consumers to engage and educate themselves about the products, in a way not often associated with the typical ‘brand building’ efforts of the Super Bowl past.”
Gahan continued, “Some brands go so far as to use their Super Bowl investment as a lead generation tool.”
The challenge for marketers like DraftKings is whether they will stand out as more marketers take this approach to Super Bowl advertising. DraftKings hopes its efforts to reintroduce its brand while providing the “thrill of putting something on the line,” as Sherman put it via the chance to win $1 million, will do just that.
Either way, the Super Bowl is “a pivotal time for us,” Sherman said.