Olay Named Winner in Merkle’s Sixth Annual Digital Bowl Report

Contest Returns for Super Bowl LIII to Assess Advertisers’ Digital Marketing Efforts

Columbia, MD — Merkle (www.merkleinc.com) a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing agency, released its sixth annual Digital Bowl Report, evaluating Super Bowl advertisers’ digital marketing efforts. This year, Olay and Avocados from Mexico took first and second place.

Merkle’s annual Digital Bowl Report evaluates how well Super Bowl advertisers supported their ad campaigns across the main digital channels – social media, paid search, SEO, and digital media. First time Super Bowl advertiser, Olay, came with a mission to bring a female focus to the world’s biggest TV stage, earning the top spot in the 2019 Digital Bowl. Olay supported an empowering and nostalgic ad, featuring former Buffy actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, with a full digital campaign that earned top-ten honors in all four categories. It drove to a top-three SEO finish with a Super Bowl-focused landing page and an optimized YouTube video. Olay also rounded out a quartet of top ten finishes in digital media with retargeting pixels and paid social creative. After winning first place in the 2018 Digital Bowl, Avocados from Mexico returned to prominence with a strong second-place finish, once again earning the top score in SEO and excelling at real-time social engagement.

“The Super Bowl provides brands with one of the most high-profile marketing opportunities of the year,” said Matthew Mierzejewski, senior vice president, search capability lead at Merkle. “The true winners of the game are those brands that have maximized their advertising investments with digital support and increased visibility in search while remaining socially savvy to engage interested viewers both during and after the Super Bowl.”

For 2019, social media brands were judged on the content and pre-game groundwork they created for their campaigns, how they engaged with users throughout the campaign, and how they organized their conversations. Brands scored more highly if they were agile and creative in their real-time marketing and if their efforts led to in-game earned media lifts. In SEO, brands were graded on campaign landing page optimization, meeting reasonable standards for site speed and security, discoverability, and YouTube optimization. The paid search team reviewed relevant keyword targeting, ad copy, and landing page experiences, along with visibility across device types. Digital media advertising was evaluated based on whether brands were leveraging teaser video content prior to the game and real-time ad buys during the game. Digital media scores were also based on the presence of appropriate display and social media retargeting pixels on web pages, as well as investment in paid social ad units.

About Merkle
Merkle is a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 30 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The agency’s heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive people-based marketing strategies. Its combined strengths in performance media, customer experience, customer relationship management, loyalty, and enterprise marketing technology drive improved marketing results and competitive advantage. With more than 7,000 employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 21 additional offices in the US and 33 offices in Europe and APAC. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network. For more information, contact Merkle at 1-877-9-Merkle or visit www.merkleinc.com.