March. A time for basketball, brackets, and marketing madness. Similar to the Super Bowl, March Madness is a great time for brands to square up, shoot, and score in promoting their campaigns. Although the tournament just began a week ago, we’ve already seen some great ads from brands like Buffalo Wild Wings, Capital One, Allstate, and AT&T.
Buffalo Wild Wings – Dropping Off
Last year, Buffalo Wild Wings was a hot shot when it came to March Madness brand promotion, and this year is no different. In this ad, combining humor with a die-hard sports mom is the best way for “B-dubs” to show off their ability to satisfy any March Madness fiend.
Not only do we see Mom taking a “March Getaway” from her family to watch ball at her local Buffalo Wild Wings, but the brand’s website allows users to curate their own basketball-filled escape:
Tying the commercial in with their website is a great way for their March Madness campaign to come full circle.
Capital One Road to the Final Four – Change
Capital One really benefited from stars Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, and Spike Lee to deliver their brand campaign straight to the basket. This campaign includes a series of 30 second spots displaying the trials and tribulations of the trio’s road trip to the Final Four games in Houston.
Combining famous athletes and actors with the most watched competitive college basketball tournament is a sure way to score big points with viewers.
Allstate Mayhem – Warm Spring Breeze 2016 Final Four
Mayhem is back in this 30-second spot on what happens when you combine a paper towel roll, gas stove, and a warm spring breeze. Although Allstate did not choose to incorporate sports specific language in this ad, they still caught the attention of viewers with everyone’s favorite character, Mayhem.
AT&T – Oops
Being one of the tournament's major sponsors, AT&T put its audience in the stadium with this virtual reality-like 30 second spot.
AT&T plugs their slogan that they are able to “stream from virtually everywhere” with the tournament in a humorous and informative way, making this one of the top ads for the month of Marketing Madness.
Major sports tournaments and games are a great way for brands to have all eyes on them without forcing viewers into to seeing their content. Stepping up their commercials game with humor and hall-of-famers is the best way for top brands to make it off the bench and into the championship.