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Five plays to score a touchdown with your Big Game campaigns

The two best teams in football face off on Sunday, February 5. The Big Game draws big plays, big entertainment and big audiences. Will your game-related campaigns be there to meet fans and viewers when they search for new gear, party ideas or game-day commercials?
With around 120M viewers in the U.S. and Canada, the Big Game is one of the largest live TV events of the year.1,2 There’s never been a better time to get in on the action. Below are five ways that will help you be there from kickoff to touchdown.

1. See who’s on your team

Football brings together fans of all ages from the preseason through the postseason. Bing Network users are no exception. 33M Bing Network users watch football on TV in a typical week, and 12M watched football as a spectator in the last 6 months.3 That’s an audience you won’t want to miss out on.

When it comes to the Big Game, Salesforce found that 82% of viewers plan to use their smartphones during the game.4 What’s more - on the Bing Network, we found that 30% of Big Game related searches in 2016 came from mobile devices.5 Use device targeting to reach viewers across devices before, during and after the Big Game. With bid adjustments for each device type (PC, tablet, mobile), you’ll have the control you need to effectively manage campaign performance and return on ad spend.
For more insights on our audience, visit the Audience Insights page.

2. Drive your message downfield

When it comes to the marketing extravaganza that is the Big Game, high-stakes and high-priced TV spots often get the most attention from advertisers. But by focusing only on TV and ignoring search, you’re missing out. Many viewers are on the edge of their seats – watching the game-day commercials. The National Retail Federation found that 78.6% of Americans say they view the commercials during the Big Game as entertainment.6 For game-day advertisers this is an opportunity to get their message out there and reinforce it with their paid search campaigns.
Game-day advertisers – and their competitors – have be ready to receive the pass as viewers become searchers looking for more information about the brand, offering or commercial. In our Search+TV analysis, Bing Ads found that airing TV commercials during the Big Game can increase an advertiser’s search volume by up to 98%.6 The effect of this increase can from 24 hours to more than 72 hours after a commercial first airs.

To make the most of this search volume increase, build a strong offense with broad keyword coverage. Start with keyword combinations focused on the brand, offering, event and commercial. Then expand your keyword list by adding in references to related offerings, the commercial’s elements (like celebrities, characters or concept) and the commercial’s name. Round the list out by adding in any questions the commercial may raise. For example, “is brand’s service really free?” or “who’s the actor in the brand commercial?”

3. Gear up and go

According to the National Retail Federation, 11.1% of people planning to watch the Big Game will buy new team apparel and/or accessories; that’s an estimated 20.9M new items purchased.7 We found that searches for team gear and apparel steadily increase as the postseason field narrows. They experience their biggest peak the day after the conference playoffs and a smaller peak the day after the Big Game as fans celebrate their team’s triumphs. Plan your team gear campaigns – and budgets – for this growing traffic to take advantage of the conference playoff and Big Game peaks.

When planning your campaigns, keep in mind that football has a growing female audience. Women make up about 33% of regular season viewers and 46% of Big Game viewers.8 What’s more: there were 60% more searches for ‘denver broncos women’s apparel’ than for ‘broncos jersey’ and ‘denver broncos jersey’ combined in early 2016 (January 1 to February 20).

4. Get the party started

The Big Game brings people together for pizza, chicken wings, beer and more! Plan your party-related campaigns for a 2-week window between the conference playoffs and the Big Game.

Make your ad stand out by using Expanded Text Ads with Sitelink and Enhanced Sitelink Extensions to promote the party and recipe sections of your website. Sitelinks can boost CTR by up to 13% over standard text ads. You’ll help searchers find the inspiration and information they’re looking for.

5. Be there for the touchdown and extra point

Take advantage of some of the available tools, extensions and features to increase your ad engagement and acquire new customers.  
Interested in learning more? We’ve got more Big Game search trends and insights in our Big Game insights presentation. Download it today!
For more seasonal and vertical insights, check out the Bing Ads Insights Portal.
[3] comScore Plan Metrix, US, January 2016, custom measure created using comScore indices and duplication. Bing Network represents unduplicated visitors to Bing Web, Yahoo U.S. Web Search and AOL.COM Web Search. Yahoo U.S. Web Search is at least 50% powered by Bing. January data was used to reflect the month prior to the Super Bowl.
[4] Salesforce, New research reveals how people will spend time multi-screening during Super Bowl 50, February 4, 2016. *By device type: Multi-response question; percentages equal more than 100%.
[5] Microsoft, Internal data analysis, Jan 1 – Feb 20, 2016, Big Game related searches.
[6] Microsoft, Internal data analysis, Feb 2016. All Big Game queries containing text related to the TV advertisers were analyzed for 72 hours before and 72 hours after TV ad release. Low volume queries (<100 SRPVs) were removed from the analysis. Increase in search volume compared against average SRPV before TV ad release. Search result page stats relate to the extra volume after the release of the TV ad.
[7] National Retail Federation, An estimated 189 million Americans expected to watch Super Bowl 50, January 28, 2016.