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Will Super Bowl advertisers “get it right” in 2015?

Imagine – Your corporate marketing department spent $8 million dollars and a year’s worth of preparation to create the viral ad during the 2015 Super Bowl.

The ad hits the air and immediately goes viral. Millions of Americans whip out smartphones and tablets and head straight to your web app.

Uh oh! The massive surge in traffic crashes your app and you suffer an outage at the absolute worst time. Monday morning is going to be a tough day in the office.

Lessons Learned?

Yottaa has warned of this nightmare scenario before, but big brands have failed to heed the warning signs. In 2013, Yottaa correctly predicted that Coca-Cola’s website was vulnerable to outages and likely to crash. It did. Overall, Yottaa tracked 13 outages among Super Bowl advertisers in 2013. How can companies that spend so many resources on Super Bowl ads fail to safeguard against this preventable disaster?

Outages and slow performance are not just bad PR for brands. They are revenue killers. For every one-second delay in load time conversions can decrease 7%. Super Bowl advertisers have precious few seconds to engage with users before attention is diverted elsewhere.

So, will we see similar high-profile outages this Super Bowl Sunday? We’re optimistic 2015 is the year advertisers finally get it right.

There are positive signs. Earlier this year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, saw fewer outages as retailers handled high traffic from holiday shoppers. This could show that companies are learning from past mistakes and incorporating plans to optimize apps for traffic surges. However, the drawn-out nature of holiday shopping does not compare to the singular, one-shot opportunity a Super Bowl ad represents.

Always over-prepare for success

The Super Bowl is the chance for advertisers to go big. It is unique, in that an enormous, captive audience actually looks forward to advertisements. Many brands have recognized the best strategy leverages a TV spot to drive continued interactive digital engagement. The key is to be prepared for the digital conversation to take off. Get it right you’ve scored a huge win! But be wary, Coca-Cola is a famous example of how this strategy, when poorly executed, can backfire.

To avoid pitfalls, perennial advertisers should take a page from Paper Magazine’s playbook. Before publishing now a now infamous photo of reality star Kim Kardashian, Paper Magazine realized it was ill-prepared to handle the massive amounts of traffic they were sure to generate. A series of last-minute preparations saw the magazine’s small team successfully handle over 30 million new visitors without a hitch. That’s impressive.

We’ll be watching more than just football Sunday night to see if Super Bowl advertisers will finally get it right. We certainly hope so.

Go Pats!

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