As another Super Bowl fast approaches, the media pundits and others are once again somewhat incredulously pointing out how expensive it is to run an ad on the Super Bowl. BTW, it is a record $5M for a 30-second spot for Super Bowl 50! And the familiar follow-up questions are always “Is it worth it?” or “How could it be worth…?”
Well, we’re here to say that if done right, running a Super Bowl ad could be the best investment an organization can make in their brand. And for those of you who don’t have $5M laying around in your advertising budget, the tips below also apply to other types of communications and media channels you may be planning.
So, why is Super Bowl advertising such a good investment? Here a few facts:
- Year in and year out the Super Bowl is the most watched television program in the U.S., peaking at 114.4M average viewers in 2015. There is simply no other broadcast or on-line venue available where you can reach this many customers in one fell swoop. This doesn’t even count the people who will see your commercial during news and entertainment programming. And with this being the 50th Super Bowl, the NFL is putting a full court press on driving viewership.
- People actually watch Super Bowl commercials! Unlike the majority of year-round programming where commercials are often skipped due to DVR’ing or restroom breaks, people actually stay glued to their TVs to watch the commercials, often discussing and evaluating the spots. And this is particularly true among women, who have become a new high profile target audience for NFL football advertisers.
What you can do to maximize the ROI of your Super Bowl advertising investment (non-Super Bowl advertisers please pay attention…these apply to your marketing too!)
- It all starts with great creative. Whether you’re creating an ad to run on the Super Bowl or to run in your industry trade magazine, you can’t settle for less than great. Keep asking yourself: Who’s my target audience? What are their pain points for products or services like mine? What can I say about my product or service that will motivate my customers to choose me over my competition? And am I saying it in a compelling way that will break through the clutter (even the clutter of 120 Super Bowl ads that will run from the opening kick-off to final whistle)?
- Maximize the social media impact. This is where great marketers and agencies earn their keep. For example, this will be the 10th year that Doritos will ask their customers to do the work for them, asking them to submit Doritos ads, millions will vote for the ads with the winning submission running during the game. In fact, Doritos has run 2nd and 3rd place spots in the past. Talk about “talk value” and consumer engagement! And who can forget back in 2013, when Oreo not only ran a very compelling ad, but then during the famed Superdome blackout tweeted out “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark”…Brilliant! We’ve heard the Oreo marketing and agency teams staffed a “war room” during the game to be prepared for just this moment.
So, don’t you think the need to maximize the impact of social media around key communications applies to organizations of all sizes across all industries? Use social media to drive your customers to the content you want them to read or view. And most Super Bowl advertisers create special hashtags for the big game…are you creating special hashtags around your new product launches and key communications?
We’re all looking forward to seeing this year’s slate of Super Bowl ads. The usual suspects such as Pepsi, Doritos and Budweiser will be there, and they generally produce good, sometimes great, work. But who will surprise us this year? How will first timers such as Bai Nutrition Drinks and Buick fare? Which celebrities will deliver as spokespeople? But ultimately, who will create that special ad that engages us through humor or emotion and compels us to talk about the ad for weeks after the game? We can’t wait to find out!
Shortly after the game, we’ll provide our commentary on the quality of this year’s ads, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts as well. Here’s to a great game and even better ads!