Sporting News reports that 91 million Americans watched the Super Bowl last year, and even this whopping number was considered a big drop from the previous year’s 100 million. Regardless, the Super Bowl is a day where millions upon millions of Americans are tuned in to the same channel.
This article creates a comprehensive list of ideas for small businesses to grow their influence and generate working capital on Super Bowl Sunday. These ideas include:
- Offering a discount
- Coupon discounts
- Percentage discounts
- Free shipping
- Offering a special
- Creating your own type of Super Bowl party
- Creating a marketing strategy for social media
- Advertising using Forbes’ projected themes of Super Bowl ads
- Being innovative
This quasi-holiday marks the final game of the National Football League, and also an important day for many big and small businesses alike that use the televised game’s large viewership as an opportunity to promote products and collect profit.
This is perhaps best exemplified in the infamous Super Bowl ads, more or less a separate Super Bowl tradition that has now become one with the holiday. Big businesses will release creative, sometimes elaborate, and thematic commercials throughout the breaks in the televised game.
Yes, devoted football fans will remember the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2021 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs but will also likely remember the fresh and relevant commercials for brands like T-Mobile, Jeep, Nabisco Oreos, and Anheuser-Busch. There is even a website, superbowl-ads.com, which archives Super Bowl commercials by year.
So perhaps it is time that we embrace the Super Bowl as a celebration of not only the National Football League, but also business marketing. This year, the Super Bowl is on Sunday, February 13. So, now is the time to put thought into how you will use this day to grow your small business’s reputation. Here is a list of some things you can do to make your business stand out:
1. Offer a Discount
Offering a Super Bowl discount is an easy way for a small business to stand out, though admittedly, the expectation of a discount around this holiday can put a lot of pressure on small business. An article on American Express’s website suggests the basics: coupons, percentage discounts, and free shipping.
A Coupon Discount
Give a sense of urgency by having the coupon expire the day of the Super Bowl, or a few days before. Yes, time may be tight with the Super Bowl fast approaching, but it is not too late to set a time frame. After all, football is played in a tight timeframe, so why shouldn’t business as well? A 60-hour coupon deal can give a similar sense of urgency as the 60-minute game.
And who says that the discounts need to end at the Super Bowl? Offering a coupon discount for the number of hours equivalent to how many points the winning team scored is another way to promote business. A deal after the Super Bowl may be a way for your small business to stand out.
Coupon promotions are especially easy in the day of digital shopping however, it is important to keep in mind that shipping products is an added expense. Don’t forget that you can benefit from small business postage discounts.
A percentage discount is an easy way to participate in Super Bowl discounting, and it can incentivize customers to buy more products. An article by Menu and Price offers a list of the Super Bowl discounts offered by popular chain restaurants, like TGI Fridays, that offered a generous discount (25%) on Family Meal Bundles and Platters for the two days leading up to the Super Bowl, and on the day itself in 2021. As a small business restaurant owner, you may want to consider getting in on the action and getting people to come watch the big game at your location.
Perhaps you can even get inventive with the percentages. Much like the coupon discounts, you can base your percentage off the winning team’s score and offer this discount the first few days following the game. It is important to keep in mind that this percentage can be higher than you expect—so budget accordingly and consider limiting it to certain aspects of your menu, like the appetizers.
Free shipping is an easy way to entice customers to visit your brick-and-mortar or your online shop. While people may not be doing a lot of shopping on Super Bowl Sunday, you can still offer free shipping throughout the weekend, especially if you sell products that are relevant to the event.
2. Offering a Special
Food is an integral part of the Super Bowl celebration. While some host Super Bowl events at their houses, others take to local restaurants and bars to watch the big game. Either way, this can be beneficial for your small business.
Menu and Price also lists some chain restaurants’ clever 2021 Super Bowl specials. For example, Applebee’s was offering 1.6 million free boneless wings to those that order over 40 dollars’ worth of food (either via pickup or delivery). Although your small business may not be able to cap at 1.6 million, these types of deals incentivize customers to order early and buy their whole Super Bowl spread from your business. Again, it can be difficult for retailers to compete with large chains in terms of pricing, but where you can’t beat them in pricing you can beat them in quality. So, combining quality and discounts opens up all sorts of avenues for your business to make a splash on Super Bowl Sunday.
These specials are not limited to take out cuisine as well. Buffalo Wild Wings, for example, offered its Overtime Button Special last year. If the game went into overtime, those in the restaurant would receive free wings. It is a game of chance that sports fans are eager to play. And, the odds are definitely in your favor as the restaurant owner – only one Super Bowl (out of 55 played so far) has ever gone to overtime!
Deals like these are also one of the ways to incentivize customers to dine in, as some have taken a step back due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases. Therefore, in order to get customers to return to your business and participate in these deals, it is important to do what you can to make them feel safe and comfortable.
3. Promote Your Own Kind of Party
Sure, there are Super Bowl party favorites: think pizza, chicken wings, chips, dips, veggies, etc. But if your small restaurant’s cuisine does not adhere to typical food groups, there is no need to abstain from participating in these deals and specials offerings. Use the fact that many people host parties on the Super Bowl to your advantage and get creative. Italian food may not be the most common food on Super Bowl Sunday, but there are definitely Americans out their serving it for the big game. So don’t miss out!
So, what kind of party can you create for your customers? Are you an independent clothing shop, offering your customers a chance to dress like their favorite character from the Super Bowl ad past? Are you a brick-and-mortar gym offering your customers a chance to indulge at their respective parties, and then come to the gym the next day on account of your premium membership deal?
That your customers are having a Super Bowl party is more predictable than which team will win. So, rely on a night of American celebration. And market accordingly.
4. Create a Marketing Strategy for Social Media
There are all sorts of ways to use social media to your advantage:
- Consider who your customers are. While the Super Bowl’s viewership almost hits the hundred million, there are still some that do not tune in. Perhaps this is your target audience. And there is no better day to look for an ad spot on alternate channels (like social media) than Super Bowl Day.
- Consider how you can market for free. Social media allows you to do this.
- Be decisive about which platforms you want to use (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) and decide which products you want to market.
- Use relevant hashtags to garner views on your tweets and photos. Although you want your business to stand out, hashtags do not need to be unique. After all, they are used to raise brand awareness,
- Research relevant Super Bowl ad themes—do not feel pressure to be unique here. Your social media promotions should reflect what the infamous advertisements are addressing.
- Post in real-time.
5. Your Advertisements Should Use the Predicted Themes of 2022 Super Bowl Ads
The Super Bowl’s notorious advertisements tend to adhere to an annual theme. In a recent Forbes article, the Forbes Agency Council created a list of themes expected to arise in the 2022 Super Bowl ads.
As a small business owner, it is important to take these themes into consideration, and market accordingly. While your small business likely isn’t going to be using a TV ad, using the same themes for local and social media marketing will help your business join the conversational buzz in your area.
Forbes indicates that the prevalent themes of 2022 will be as follows:
- Adventure and experiencing life following the two-year COVID-19 lockdown
- Bringing people together and reinvigorating community
- Comedy and cutesiness of classic Super Bowl ads
- Embracing personal freedom and enjoying life (also in response to the COVID-19 lockdown)
- Embracing ourselves and figuring out who we are
- Expecting the unexpected and pushing conventional boundaries
- A business’s sense of self-awareness in how they impact the world (coincidingly, how they can make the world better)
- Embracing American toughness throughout the years of hardship
- Addressing vaccination policy and encouraging “vaccination safety”
- Finding ways to connect to human emotions
- Reconnecting with loved ones and the world around them
- Embracing the power of positive thinking: There are better days to come
- Buying cryptocurrency
6. Be Innovative
As a small business owner, you should always be openminded, and look for ways to innovate, no matter how small. For example, Menu and Price’s article includes the International House of Pancakes’ 2021 deal of to-go chicken strips (original, buffalo, or barbeque). On game-day, IHOP promotes Super Bowl party classics, just as 7-11 offered a one-dollar pizza (if customers bought it on the day of the game via the 7-11 app).
So stray from the norm, and let your Etsy shop sell homemade Super Bowl bean bag tosses, creative dip bowls and party platters, and T-Shirts with SuperBowl sayings.
When advertising for these deals, avoid using the term “Super Bowl,” which has been trademarked by the NFL since 1969. It’s all about advertising for the “Big Game”.
Whether the Super Bowl will be hosted in your local city this year, or played on your restaurant’s televisions, this game’s ability to draw a large audience can benefit your business.
Yet, it is equally important to remember that the pandemic has brought about staffing shortages, as well as an increase in stress and anxiety in restaurant workers. Additively, the Super Bowl alone can be extremely overwhelming to restaurant workers, customer service workers, and business owners and entrepreneurs like yourself. As a small business owner, the well-being of your staff and yourself should be just as integral to a successful Super Bowl as your profits.
So maybe, when it’s all said and done, and the Super Bowl marketing has come to an end, consider planning a well-earned vacation.