It has been 2 weeks, since SuperBowl concluded. In addition to the actual game- Advertisements were the most interesting things. They were original, creative, theme based and sometimes outrageous too.. A 30 second spot on NBC, during the superbowl costed Advertisers between 3.75 m$ and 4.5 m$ according to this estimate. This is the most expensive TV spot ever..
Given the costs, sould a company advertise during Superbowl given these expenses?
This Bloomberg article– predicts using historical information, the rise in Superbowl advertising costs and viewership. It states that for the price, the costs are in line with Prime time television.
Another article – critical of Superbowl advertising argues that firms could achieve better ROI and actual conversions through alternative means. A combination of online advertising campaigns including( i.e.youtube, banner placements and CPC keyword bids) are cited as better alternatives.The argument is that the targeting is much more precise using the digital channel and firms could predict their RoI using these targeting platforms..
My opinion on why firms would advertise during Superbowl is based on two different reasons.
I.Firstly, Superbowl is the OSCAR equivalent for the Advertisement world..
- For the advertising industry, the Superbowl is the most prestigious event. Firms try to create a most expensive classic advertisements for this event . These ads are then played during other prime time TV spots.
- This is a chance for the CXO’s to get their sales act in shape, by creating their best possible Ad viewed by 100 million people. These ads have a real chance at winning Golden Lion award at Cannes (or the ADDY’s). Many Superbowl ads have won these awards in the past.
- Superbowl is a branding launchpad for newer businesses trying to break into the big league. These businesses have a chance to create a mind-share amongst the general public about who they are. The David’s rub shoulders with the Goliaths.. For eg. the wix.com’s get a slot in the same event as that of Apple or Coke. Here’s an article discussing this.
- Success during Superbowl is sweeter- In the biography of Steve Jobs – Walter Isaccson describes in a how the iconic 1984 ad was made and notes the personal contribution of Jobs to the creatives. This book was launched 30 years after original advertisement. The ad continued to win awards – including a notable Hall of Fame award – full 23 years after its original preview. It has an iconic following, including a wikipedia page dedicated to it..
Secondly, Superbowl has a Ripple effect, which far outlasts the 30 second ad-spot in which it appears. The Ripple effect is a term used by Maketers to indicate an effect on the brand/image of the product, which far outlasts the actual advertising event.
- Digital vs. TV ads – The regular digital advertisement has an effect which mostly expires the moment the ad is displayed. Very few advertisements are worth sharing. (Most video ads on youtube are skipped after 3 sconds or go unnoticed, due to ad blocking plugins on Firefox or Chrome ). Remember the last digital ad on google.com that you saw or shared?
- Cross channel Social share – Many days after the actual ad is displayed on live TV, other video bloggers, documentaries, and commentators on radio, TV or internet spend time and effort discussing the ad. This Superbowl – a radio channel in Atlanta dedicated to sports had successive commentators discussing the pros and cons of various ads during Superbowl for atleast 3 days after the actual bowl.
- Ad search complementing the TV ad-spot – Google search Trends for keywords “Mircosft Superbowl ad” shows a full 100 score on the days surrounding Superbowl, indicating search traffic which complemented the TV advertisement. A random search on youtube for the keyword “Superbowl 2015 ads” returns more than 0.5 M results. The first few 1000 results are actual re-shares of the advertisement run or video mashups of actual ads. These “re-posts” are mostly due to regular youtube users sharing the same.There are also some funny analyses created by youtube users like this one which tries to discuss the best and worst superbowl ads of 2015. The combined viewership of these ads are so much more.
- Measurement of RoI – The Superbowl ad, given its premier standing amongst all branding events, provides a different conversion funnel, extending well into the future. It is very difficult to compare this conversion to a typical digital advertisement where the results are almost instantaneous..
The possibility of *Failure* during Superbowl is large. Just as with any mega event which is associated with Prestige and with mindshare, there is an increased chance of failure….with the Superbowl. Ofcourse, only a few actors or movies really win an OSCAR. But there are many good movies.