Super Bowl Advertising: Brand Bonanza or Waste of Money?

With the Super Bowl behind us I thought it would be a good time to reflect on this question: “Is it worth it for a brand to advertise during the Super Bowl?” The cost for a 30-second spot during this premier event was estimated to be around $3 million. That’s a significant expense to even the most deep pocketed marketing departments. The answer to this question has ramifications for Super Bowl and non-Super Bowl advertisers alike.

I suspect that many hyper-focused ROI marketers would say it’s not worth the price. I know that chief financial officers are either driven to anger or depression at dropping that kind of money in half a minute. With all due respect to these professionals, however, I would be in the camp that feels that these ads are well worth the investment. Take a look at my reasoning below.

 The Unique Benefits of Super Bowl Advertising:

  • Participation in one of the most watched events of the year.
  • Extensive pre-event promotion for the game and also advertisers.
  • Extensive post-event coverage for the game and advertisers.
  • Heavy build up for the advertising that will appear during the game.
  • An audience interested in viewing the spots, not running when there’s a break in the game.
  • Valuable consumer discussion (word of mouth) about the ads and brands during and after the game.
  • Potential for brand discussion on social media during and after the game.
  • The status of being a brand seen during the one of the biggest events of the year.
  • An unparalleled platform for launching a new campaign.

When it gets right down to it, the Super Bowl is the event among a world of events. Any brand experiences the halo effect (assuming the consumer hasn’t had a bad experience with the brand) of being associated with something of this magnitude. For those brands that have the resources to participate, it would be difficult to understand why they wouldn’t.

What’s the Super Bowl for your business or industry? What’s that advertising opportunity you should be a part of, even though the price is high? Sometimes the greatest rewards come from taking the greatest risks, even in advertising.

Author: Steve Sonn

Steve Sonn is the Principal of S2 Marketing Communications. He has more than 25 years of marketing and PR experience with health care and business-to-business companies.

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