The return to authenticity is in full force and consumer’s demand for “real” has carried over into this year’s Super Bowl advertising. However, landing in the end zone of consumer loyalty, inspiration and engagement during America’s biggest televised event is no easy feat. While brands funnel millions of dollars into Super Bowl advertising in an effort to captivate large audiences, many miss the mark in successfully garnering real-time traction.

Consumers will become the most powerful marketing tool for brands in 2020 and those looking to execute a winning Super Bowl advertising strategy shouldn’t be afraid to leverage them. In our always-on world, ads that truly resonate are those which answer consumers’ resounding call for authenticity, relevance, and diversity. Last year’s Super Bowl featured a few human-centered gems that are great examples of brands partnering with consumers to create authentic content, and we expect the user-generated content (UGC) trend to be even more prevalent in this year’s Super Bowl.

UGC as the new Super Bowl production standard

Budweiser’s upcoming Super Bowl campaign is an example of how genuine content can impact audiences differently than scripted narratives. The brand, which released the full spot ahead of the game, utilises real-world events and people that demonstrate the passion American’s have. The ad features videos of real people doing real things, such as a good samaritan pushing a car in the middle of a snowstorm, a woman crossing the finish line of a marathon, a soldier surprising a loved one at his place of work, and footage of protestors who are striving to make a difference. The spot combines the high-gloss production look with real-life and puts a new lense on what these “American moments” look like.

Videos captured by everyday people are utilised in the spot, making it even more real and personal. By showing real people doing amazing things, the brand empowered consumers to embrace their spirit and themselves, offering a look into the power that anyone can instill into their community. As a result, their messaging is humanised and personalised to anyone watching.

Outside of the Super Bowl, more and more brands are leveraging UGC videos in their TV spots and social video assets. Sony partnered with UM and Social Native to create hundreds of authentic videos of consumers going to the movie premiers to use in a compilation video showing real fan excitement and reactions. Zillow is another example of a brand powering their TV commercials with UGC. The worlds of traditional and new media are colliding and brands that are getting creative with content production and customer-led storytelling are cutting through the noise to connect with consumers in an authentic and streamlined way.

Inspire your fans, with your fans

During Super Bowl LII, Samsung showcased their take on implementing UGC by weaving together real-life clips with Super Bowl style production to present a view of the world through the eyes of its users. By showing real consumers, Samsung empowered its audience as engaged creators and as a result, expertly humanized their messaging. The ad’s focus on “the rest of us” breaks down barriers between Samsung and consumers by showing that their phones elevate the people, not just a few. It was inclusive and diverse – two key ingredients that tackle the lack of authenticity consumers so desire. In responding to their consumers’ plead for authenticity, a loyal audience is inclined to follow.

Activate, engage, and tackle

In an effort to track ROI of Super Bowl efforts, brands are inspiring action and engagement pre, during and post-game day. In deepening engagement around their upcoming Super Bowl spots, brands can tap into the power of social media to extend the buzz around their ad. As we look forward to this year’s showdown, a couple of brands have already emerged as leading the charge. OLAY made a pledge to donate $1 to Girls Who Code each time someone tags @OlaySkin on Twitter and uses the #MakeSpaceforWomen hashtag for the two weeks leading up to the game. This is a great strategy to get people talking about your brand, create buzz beyond the 30 section TV spot, and connect with consumers through the purpose of diversity and inclusivity.

Another great example of a brand extending their Super Bowl buzz is Planters and their recent death of Mr. Peanut stunt. The announcement drummed up a community reaction across social media to mourn the loss of its famous mascot. While the dedicated hashtag trending on Twitter helped to build global anticipation in the lead up to the big game, the real value of the campaign lays in the power of consumers to become the brand’s biggest ambassadors.

There’s no better way to make your existing fans and potential fans feel heard and understood than by activating them. After all, by partnering with real consumers, brands can empower their audiences to become creators and as a result, expertly humanize their messaging. Ultimately, going straight to the source is key to breaking down the barriers associated with traditional marketing and achieving the seemingly impossible: personalisation on a granular level. Now that’s a touchdown.

Share this post