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What the natural industry can learn from Super Bowl ads

As fans count down to Super Bowl XLVIII, the marketing and advertising world is beginning to buzz about the slew of big-dollar ads that will debut before and during football’s biggest game. It’s a scene natural products brands and retailers could assume lies far outside their interest, ability or expertise. But there are lessons to be learned even here, amid flashy commercials, plates of supersized nachos and millions of testosterone-charged sports fans.  

Check out this Super Bowl-inpsired list of 5 food and beverage brands doing Twitter right from the food industry website Food Dive, for example. Yes, the companies highlighted in the article are major conventional brands with megasized budgets to put toward social media marketing and advertising, but many of their tactics are re-creatable on a smaller scale. Oreo’s, for instance, excels at engaging with its followers and creating messages that respond to what’s happening in the Twitterverse. After the power outage at last year’s Super Bowl, the company released an ad telling followers “you can still dunk in the dark.” It was a move that marked a new turn in the trajectory of social media advertising and it set a new bar going forward, experts said.

The takeaway for smaller brands? Creating tweets, posting pictures or creating event or holiday-themed posts shows there’s a human behind your brand who is in touch with what’s going on out there. These companies highlighted by Food Dive post lots of photos, use humor and develop personalities on social media--all strategies natural brands and retailers can emulate. Take this Facebook post by Cool Spring Organic Market. The retailer's happy birthday post is timely, entertaining in an America's Funniest Home Videos kind of way and even slips in a promotion for a new line of yogurt hitting its shelves. And if you thought home videos might not strike consumers' fancy, check out this stat: Volkswagen's 2011 Super Bowl commercial featuring a little boy dressed up as Darth Vader garnered 5.24 million social shares, according to and was ranked the favorite commercial that aired during that year's game.

While these companies' advertising resources dwarf the marketing budgets of most natural products companies, that doesn't mean their creations can't at least be a source of inspiration.


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