The Super Bowl is about more than just the game, it’s a time to gather with friends and family to watch the game, fellowship, and mourn the end of the NFL season. It is also all about the commercials and the half-time show. Advertisers spend millions, and devote their most creative resources to coming up with the absolute perfect Super Bowl ad. The price tag on ads hit a new high this year, CBS charged between $3.8 million and $4 million for every spot shown during the game. Today, it is likely that more people will be discussing their favorite commercials than the outcome of the game. One example is YouTube prompting visitors to vote for their favorite.
Two advertisers serve as examples of how businesses must be agile in order to be market leaders. “Business agility is the ability of a business to adapt rapidly and cost efficiently in response to changes in the business environment. Agility is a concept that incorporates the ideas of flexibility, balance, adaptability, and coordination under one umbrella.” Oreo serves as an example of traditional agility, while Jello on the other hand prepared for all potential outcomes. Let’s take a closer look at these two advertisers.
Agility from a Timely Social Media Team
At 8:38 p.m. EST, early in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII, the overhead lights went out in half the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Across the internet jokes of Beyonce’s half-time show using up the electricity, the Superdome not paying their electric bill, Sean Payton taking revenge on the NFL, and even the 49ers calling on Scandal’s Olivia Pope to save the game were posted in jest.
During the 33 minute blackout Oreo, among other advertises, took to the web to capitalize on the unexpected occurrence. Oreo posted:
with the photo below.
A small gesture by the organization but people began retweeting and sharing the image discussing how clever the post was. People who may not have paid attention (or who, like me, didn’t like their Super Bowl commercial) we exposed to and impressed by their brand which in turn leads to sales.
How were they able to take advantage of this opportunity to gain additional brand exposure? I don’t have the inside track at Oreo but it is likely that because they spent millions on an ad their social media team was expected to be online monitoring the buzz. Essentially, they were poised are ready to address brand chatter whether positive or negative.
Planned Agility, Prepare for All Outcomes
Confetti in both teams’ colors is hanging and ready to be released, and Super Bowl paraphernalia such as hats and t-shirts are printed and ready for sale; both prepared for whichever team wins. Some advertisers seek to personalize their ads as well based on the winner. Jell-O, is a great example of this for Super Bowl XLVII. Jell-O targeted the fans of the losing team, rather than the Lombardi trophy, fans of the losing team will receive Jell-O pudding cups. Jell-O will give out thousands of cups of free Jell-O the team’s local city on Tuesday. In order to be agile Jell-O, of course, had to produce both versions of their post-game commercial and develop plans for distributing thousands of Jell-O Pudding Cups in either city.
Positioning Your Business to Remain Agile
Are you able to react to unexpected or anticipated opportunities? Can you make shifts based on market conditions and outside factors? If the answer is no, or you are unsure lets discuss a few ways you can help to being agile in your business.
- Expect the Unexpected: Processes are important; your processes should be adapted to expect the unexpected. Should you need to communicate quickly with customers, do you have the systems and processes in place? If a supplier or distributor suddenly becomes unavailable are do you have a backup plan to create or distribute your product? Are your employees empowered to act or react when needed? Are you or your customer service people regularly monitoring and responding to social media posts about your business? These are all examples of how you expect the unexpected.
- Brainstorm Potential Opportunities: Much like what Jell-O did, there are some opportunities for agility that can be anticipated. Is there a current event that you can capitalize on? Are there seasonality’s that may occur in your business? Are there changes happening in your industry? By thinking through these opportunities you can prepare content, promotions, products/services, and communications that will address these potential opportunities allowing you to be prepared should they arise.
- Reflect on Missed Opportunities: Hindsight is 20/20; situations have or will occur in your small business that you will wish that you had handled differently. Although it may be too late to implement, take the time to think through how you SHOULD have reacted. This exercise will help you to be more agile the next time a similar situation arises.
What situations have you demonstrated agility? What missed opportunities have you had because you weren’t prepared to be agile? Share your experiences in the comments below.