By Dana Baasiri
Rihanna’s 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Performance will go down in history as a masterclass in innovative marketing. On Sunday, the grammy-winning artist graced the stage at one of the most watched, televised events of the year and used it as an opportunity to promote her multi-billion dollar empire of brands resulting in a major boost of awareness and revenue.
Even if you weren’t one of the 118.7 million viewers who tuned into one of the most talked-about performances of the year, you might have experienced its ripple effect throughout social media as Rihanna showed us how to make a statement and capitalize on a large platform.
So, what can we take away from Riri’s grand performance? Here are some marketing lessons learned from her 13-minute performance:
#1 Partnership marketing can be just as powerful as traditional advertising.
The fact that Rihanna managed to garner $5.6 million in earned media in the first 12 hours for Fenty Beauty, and $2.6 million for clothing business Savage x Fenty without paying for a commercial spot shows the true power of partnership marketing. She agreed to perform without getting paid and used it as an opportunity to partner with a large platform for its reach. By incorporating her beauty and lingerie brands into her 13-minute show, Rihanna was able to get millions of viewers exposed to her products.
#2 Timely storytelling can bridge the connection between your brand and audience.
When you’re faced with such a large audience, it’s important that they feel personally connected to what you’re selling. During her performance, Rihanna revealed that she was pregnant — this personal detail created an emotional connection with the audience and kept them engaged. It also drove hundreds of thousands of people to social media platforms where they discussed the news endlessly, driving more publicity and awareness around her brand.
#3 Events are a great strategy to help bring your brand to life.
Rihanna kept viewers on their toes with many unexpected moments that brought her brands to life, from touching up her makeup mid-performance with Fenty Beauty and having her dancers wear items from Savage X Fenty line. Whether you’re hosting an event or integrating your brand into one, it’s a surefire way of creating buzz around your brand. The more unique the experience is, the more opportunities for customers to engage with you.
#4 Social Media and influencer marketing can work with your overall strategy like a well-oiled machine.
Social media analytics show that mentions of Fenty increased by 717% and positive sentiment shot up 781% after the show. The overwhelming success can be attributed to perfectly timed drops that drove full-funnel conversations, along with top beauty influencers and brand ambassadors that were hosted on a trip to Arizona and invited to the game.
All in all, Rihanna’s 2023 Super Bowl halftime performance created an iconic marketing moment that will resonate with both audiences and marketers for years to come. And as AdAge said it best, Rihanna and her brands were the Super Bowl 2023’s big marketing winner.
p.s. Clients can work with us in six ways:
1- Promotional partnerships that allow you to reach more for less by exchanging travel prizing with our powerful portfolio of 600+ brands.
2- Transformative public relations that help craft your story and share it with the world through re-imagined earned media.
3- Social media and influencer marketing that uncovers unique brand stories through one-of-a-kind collaborations, compelling content, and the art of connection.
4- Multimedia events and brand activations that deepen brand engagement and capture media attention.
5- Product development and programming that meet the demands of today’s travelers through distinctive guest experiences and product offerings.
6- Integrated marketing entertainment that connects you to millions of viewers and listeners through TV talk and game shows, record labels, music television, streaming media, broadcast partners, and film productions.