Personalization Scores A Big Hit in Super Bowl LIV Commercials

TJ Prebil | February 4, 2020

Three consecutive touchdown drives to overcome a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter propelled the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl win in 50 years with a 31-20 victory over the 49ers Sunday, and in the process cemented Patrick Mahomes’ legacy as the NFL’s best quarterback. Of course, for many, the action off the field is just as compelling as the game itself, and this year was no exception. The electric all-Latina halftime show featuring JLo and Shakira seemed to spark just as much discussion as the “third-and-forever” completion that changed the course of the game.

Of course, no Super Bowl recap is complete without rehashing the commercials – what “scored” and what flopped. Here in Massachusetts, everyone is trying to read the tea leaves on the Tom Brady Hulu ad and weighing in on the “wicked” clever – clevah? – Hyundai ad for the self-parking Sonata. According to Google trends, the top five trending commercials during the game were Bill Murray reprising his role in Groundhog Day in an ad for Jeep, J Lo pulling double duty as performer and pitch woman in ad for Hard Rock, the NFL featuring a kid ballcarrier running past a who’s who of stars past and present, Geico’s Pinocchio bit with Joe Buck, and – the No. 1 trending ad – Sofia Vergara pitching Bounty (and a half dozen other Proctor & Gamble brands). The spot, which featured a chili clean-up party, generated a ton of pre-game hype as a creation based almost entirely on input from customers.

Going “All Out” to Deliver Experience

The CPG giant’s 60-second spot – which cost roughly $11.2 million – is yet more in a growing body of evidence of brands’ laser focus on the empowered consumer, and a recognition that the customer demands a personalized experience across every interaction with a brand. While a brand can’t very well personalize a Super Bowl ad that reaches roughly 100 million people, P&G ceding creative control to the customer validates the notion that customer experience is king.

Walmart’s “Famous Visitors” ad solicited help from a host of fictional characters from 70s, 80s, and 90s sci-fi movies – Star Wars, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Men in Black, to name a few – to showcase its “out of this world” curbside pickup grocery service. An offshoot of buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS), curbside pickup is not new (Walmart ran a similar ad during last year’s Super Bowl) but it is definitely a growing channel, with one estimate that it will be a $35 billion business this year, including $7.4 billion to Walmart (representing 33 percent of its digital sales).

The service is more confirmation that brands now compete on customer experience, with personalization as a core component. In the Walmart service, for instance, the white glove treatment is made possible with the customer providing the retailer with reams of data, which the retailer uses to make the experience as seamless as possible, both when picking up the items and for all future online orders. Personalization touches includes remembering orders, serving up customized recommendations and reminders, and timely offers and discounts – as well as giving the customer control of the process to include choosing a pick-up time.

Keeping Pace with the Customer

The key for brands to create a seamless, hyper-personalized experience is data. To provide customers with the level of personalization they have come to expect, Walmart and other retailers must know everything there is to know about a customer. One Redpoint client, for example, a do-it-yourself retailer, uses a single customer view (ingesting data 38 sources) to supercharge a state of the art BOPIS service. Within no more than five minutes after a customer places an online order, the retailer is ready to queue up a personalized offer across any device. With Redpoint, the client enjoys a 99 percent cycle time compression from data to action, giving it the ability to keep pace with the customer with a next-best action throughout the customer journey.

As if to drive the point home, the closing tagline of the Walmart commercial is “free pickup on everything for your journey”, which is shown onscreen just as the hover vehicle from Blade Runner 2049 takes off. The double entendre tagline is not lost on brands who in 2020 must know who their customers are, and deliver personalization, across any device and any channel.

Now, about that Tom Brady ad …

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TJ Prebil
TJ Prebil

T.J. is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Redpoint. He and his team oversee messaging and positioning tasks related to Redpoint's customer optimization and engagement solutions. Connect with T.J. on LinkedIn https://linkedin.com/in/tjprebil and Twitter https://twitter.com/tjprebil.