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Super Sunday is one of the biggest advertising opportunities of the year — and not just for brands that want a million-dollar commercial slot. Any advertiser can get in on the action by launching native ads across the open web.
So, when the next big sports event rolls around, you want to be ready.
As the National Retail Federation found, over 192 million U.S. adults planned to tune into the Big Gamethis year and collectively spend $16.5 billion — up from 13.9 billion in 2021. A whopping 79% also expected to buy food and drinks for the event.
To help you reach these customers, we pulled the biggest insights and takeaways from 2023’s Big Game for auto, food, and tech advertisers, a.k.a. the top ad verticals during the Super Sunday. Going forward, you can use these tips to build more clickworthy ads and optimize performance for your campaigns.
You can also use Taboola’s Premium Sports Package to gain exclusive access to sports fans. That’s right. We’ll put your ads in front of engaged audiences across leading publisher sites like NBC Sports, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, and MSN Sports, and more.
Now, are you ready to revamp your playbook with the latest sports-related campaign data?
Here’s what we found.
When to Run Campaigns
First, we pulled readership data from Taboola’s network of U.S. publishers to see how certain topics performed from December 1, 2022 to March 1, 2023.
Most notably, content with the keywords “NFL Super Bowl” saw page view spikes on January 30, February 6, February 10, February 12 (game day), and a few days following. Overall, we saw traffic really start to pick up on January 22 and dip off by February 22.
So, what does that tell us? To tap into this engagement, advertisers should launch their campaigns as early as three weeks before the big event and continue to run them at least one week after.
Top Stories + Readership Trends
Now, let’s dig into the specifics. Across the Taboola network, here are just some of the trending Big Game terms that drove spikes in readership:
- Eagles and Chiefs, the two competing teams
- Patrick Mahomes, quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, and Jalen Hurts, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles
- Rihanna, highly anticipated headliner of the Super Bowl Halftime Show
- Andy Reid, coach of the Chiefs, and Nick Sirianni, coach of the Eagles
- Travis Kelce and Jason Kelce, brothers and star players on opposing teams
So, how did publishers create content around these terms and drive engagement?
NBC Sports shared an informative post on the day of the game, telling readers where, when, and how they could watch:
CBS Sports broke down Rihanna’s halftime show and the news of her pregnancy announcement:
And BroBible shared the deets of that exchange between the Kelce brothers after the game:
Audience Targeting + Campaign Optimization
Taboola’s Premium Sports Package is designed to put your ads in front of engaged sports fans across premium publisher sites. Outside of that package, however, you can always use Taboola’s Data Marketplace to curate your own targeting and reach audiences by interest, behavior, demographics, and buying intent.
When launching a sports-related campaign, for example, you can choose these Taboola segments to hone in on just the right audiences:
- Contextual > Sports > American Football
- Contextual > Sports Package
- US Interest > Sports > Football Spectator
- Media and Entertainment > Events and Attractions > Sporting Events
You can also optimize your campaigns to better meet your goals with these tools:
- SmartBid. Taboola’s SmartBid automatically adjusts your spend to help you meet business goals, like conversions and CPAs. So you can drive actionable results at scale without exceeding your budget.
- High Impact placements. Drive awareness for your sports campaigns by delivering ads across premium publisher websites — on the homepage, mid-page, below articles, or through mobile-integrated experiences.
- Motion Ads. Grab your audience’s attention with eye-catching Motion Ads — short, GIF-like visuals that are designed to increase clicks and conversions while lowering CPAs.
Creative Best Practices
Now, we’ll break down creative best practices for Super Bowl campaigns across verticals: tech, food, and auto. Based on Taboola Trends data for the week of February 5, here’s how different images and headlines performed:
Tech Best Practices
Among tech readers, images featuring food, close-up shots, and men tended to perform better than those without these elements.
And, using the Taboola Analyzer, we can see which types of tech-related headlines drive the highest predicted CTRs:
Pulling these best practices together, here’s how a tech advertiser might build their Big Game campaign:
Food Best Practices
When it comes to food ads, visuals with close-ups, men, and photos instead of illustrations drove clicks:
And a title like “The Most Popular Beers for Super Sunda Parties” can help drum up traffic for your campaign:
Now, let’s cook these tips up into a sample campaign for food advertisers:
Auto Best Practices
Over in the auto vertical, native ad images with photos, far-away shots, and bold colors generated engagement among Super Bowl readers.
Meanwhile, auto advertisers can use titles like the top two here to get audiences clicking on their ads:
Need some inspiration for your next sports-related auto ads? Use this native campaign sample to guide you:
Win Big with Your Next Game Day Campaign
When the next “big game” rolls around, you want to be ready with data-backed strategies to drive clicks and conversions. That’s where these insights can help.
Whether you’re building campaigns for Super Sunday, World Series, or NBA Finals, you can use the best practices here — and Taboola’s Premium Sports Package — to engage the right audiences with winning content, every time.