POV: Donna Robinson

How’d We Score POV with Donna Robinson

Leading up to our panel event on February 21, “How’d We Do? Scoring Minnesota Marketers On the Big Game,” we asked a handful of influential marketers around town how they thought we did. Over the next few days we’ll present their answers here. Today, the spotlight is on Donna Robinson.


Donna Robinson

CEO, Nina Hale


In your expert opinion, which Minnesota brand did the best job with their Super Bowl digital activation/campaign? Tell us why you chose them and what other marketers can learn from them?

The Great Northern (by Target) created a lot of digital content that really caught my attention. The message didn't even focus on the Super Bowl; instead, The Great Northern drew attention to Minnesota’s captivating winter activities – including the Ice Palace and Luminary Loppet. The snowshoe art created in Target Field and showcased in video form across their social channels (currently pinned on their Facebook page) was fantastic.

Simon Beck x The Great Northern

We believe winter is best spent outdoors and so does Simon Beck's Snow Art. Watch as he creates a snowy masterpiece in our very own backyard at Target Field in partnership with Red Bull. #TheGreatNorthern presented by Target. Special thanks to Minnesota Twins for letting us play in their stadium and to Capture for documenting the experience.

Posted by The Great Northern on Thursday, February 1, 2018

I saw Surly's "Welcome to Minnesota" primer shared all over social media. The witty and self-effacing observations about Minnesotans were on point and struck the perfect tone – instilling some pride in the local audience (even if others might laugh), while arming visitors with an insider’s guide to the North. And they did a nice job getting in a featured menu item and link to their brewery, without being salesy.


While very much a physical fixture of the Super Bowl Experience on Nicollet Mall and not a digital activation, I appreciated Andersen Windows' warming house as part of the Super Bowl Live experience. What a great way to showcase one of the selling points of their windows – keeping the cold air out – by providing a warm haven from the EXTREME cold.

And speaking of extreme cold, ColdAF delivering hats to visitors who were poorly dressed for the Minnesota cold was a very fun digital-to-physical activation.


The last semi-local brand I'll call out is Jack Links. They did have a Super Bowl commercial, and extended the campaign to YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

Did you notice any missed opportunities or "head-scratchers" among MN brand activations?

I was surprised to note so many Minnesota brands that were absent during the Super Bowl and the festivities leading up to the game. With so many brands headquartered here, I expected greater competition for the attention of locals and visitors.

Seeing one more Super Bowl come and go, do you feel the Super Bowl is still a wise marketing investment for brands? When is it the right strategy?

If you have a broad consumer audience, need high levels of awareness and engagement, and have the creative that will make an impact, Super Bowl advertising is the right investment. If you don’t meet all three of those requirements, brands should consider other media channels that provide opportunities for more a cost-effective, targeted media approach.