One of the year’s biggest television events is arriving this weekend: the Super Bowl! This year, the Denver Broncos will take on the Carolina Panthers in the 50th anniversary of the big event at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco.

While fans revel in a day of great football (hopefully) and tasty snacks, the big day also brings in those who may otherwise not watch the game, namely spouses and significant others of said football fans.

Super Bowl Marketing 2016After all, we all know that Super Bowl is not just about the football. Many viewers (including the staff here at EDK) get very excited about the commercials! The big brand marketers are hoping for this; after all, with the Super Bowl attracting over 100 million viewers on average, there is no better time to get your brand in front of millions of people from all demographics and walks of life.

Marketing during the Super Bowl doesn’t come without a hefty price tag, of course: an average 30-second commercial spot costs about $5 million. What is the cost worth for brands? Well, it certainly boosts recognition and brand awareness among consumers across many demographics. But will it ultimately help drive sales?

With online word of mouth growing (AKA social media marketing), it is hard to ignore its influence on driving sales. In this day and age of digital marketing, a successful Super Bowl marketing strategy will not completely rely on the television spot. It should effectively combine a powerful push on social media…ultimately, the buzz and conversation will need to continue online. So while the commercial should be creative and provoke chatter, it also needs to be accompanied by a strategic effort through social media marketing.

Many marketers are spending dollars on the big social media networks, mainly Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Even Snapchat, a newcomer to the social media block, is starting to gain some traction with marketers. It’s hard to ignore the power of these platforms, especially before and after the Super Bowl event. Ideally, brands should be able to get in the conversation and keep it going after the Super Bowl ends.

Several big brands are already releasing teasers for their commercials days in advance of Super Bowl Sunday, such as food company Heinz and major beer brand Budweiser. Why release them early? Well, food and beverage brands can take advantage of the fact that many consumers love to engage on social media about eating and dining experiences, and get the conversation started early.

We can’t wait to see what’s in store on Super Bowl Sunday! Join us in the conversation — we’ll be tweeting live at @EDKLosAngeles.