6 Super Bowl social marketing tricks used by eCommerce giants

Not an American football fan? The Super Bowl can still be your favourite event of the year. Why? Because it’s more than a sporting event – it’s a high-budget ads and marketing entertainment fest.

You don’t need to be selling football jerseys or making the world’s most expensive TV ads to get in on the action around the Super Bowl either. Every year we see brands using the Super Bowl to leverage their products in smart ways, offering quick deals through social marketing. Even if you don’t see an immediate boost in sales, it’s great brand exposure if you capture the imagination of a potentially huge audience.

Here are examples of how eCommerce giants like Amazon US and UK, Newegg and Alibaba took advantage of the socially supercharged Super Bowl on Twitter. Sellers can apply the strategies behind these tweets to any big event.

1. The Sell

These are easy tweets for sellers to replicate with good effect. Find a product in your inventory that relates to a big event, upload a high quality image and tweet it with the event hash tag during key event times.

Like Amazon UK does above, think of the event specifics that matter to your audience, such as timezones, pre-event rituals and general habits around those times (like eating!).

2. The Reach


OK, we can’t all afford the most expensive ad space in  history. However, any company can make comedic gifs out of key moments of a big event. Put the right shots together and your media tweet could go viral.

Humorous, visual mishmashes allow smaller Twitter businesses to reach a new audience, while creating instant, positive brand engagement.

3. The Engagement


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This is an almost-great way of harnessing big audiences – posing a simple question that’s highly important to the audience. However, the reason I say almost-great is because Rakuten had two better options here: either to create a Twitter poll or specify RT for Panthers, Like for Broncos.

Opportunity for greater engagement missed by Rakuten, but one that you can take advantage of at a future event.

4. The Live Reaction

A great way for a brand to engage with an audience around a big event? Act like a person. Alibaba reacts to Mountain Dew’s ‘Puppy Monkey Baby’ ad with the same sense of confusion as the rest of us. It’s funny simply because it’s refreshing to see a brand being honest and humorous.

5. The Promo

Alibaba also took this opportunity to tell us how NFL’s popularity is growing rapidly in China. A nice bit of market promotion and encouragement – but also highlighting a potentially growing niche for sellers to take advantage.

6. The… Alternative?

OK, Mashable isn’t an online marketplace, but I had to share this. The tech website (founded by Scotsman Pete Cashmore) uses the Super Bowl to share a pretty fascinating Scottish sporting event – the Highland games.

Maybe you’re a seller from a region with lesser known festivals that have lost out to mainstream events? Share your cultural heritage and who knows – you might gain some Twitter Kudos while you’re at it.