TV advertisements during the Super Bowl are as much an American tradition as the Super Bowl itself. 30-sec ad spots for 2020 are selling at $5.6 million, more than double the $2.7 million they sold for in 2007.
The total cost of a single Super Bowl ad could reach $30 million if we include the cost of the actors and production expenses. But the cost doesn’t deter big brands from spending the cash to stay relevant.
The 110 million+ TV audience look forward to the Super Bowl ads, a sharp contrast to the audience’s general attitude of skipping or not paying attention to TV advertisements. It’s one of the few occasions where advertisers know they have the attention of the TV audience.
Super Bowl ads are usually dominated by companies the food and beverage, automotive, entertainment space. Companies like Coca-Cola and Budweiser have been running ads for a long time. The premium ad space gives these popular brands an opportunity to stay in the conversation and reinforce the brand image.
In the last decade or so, the impact of the social media “halo” effect has allowed the buzz to linger a little longer as ads are shared on social media. Companies post the ads on YouTube a few days before the Superbowl. These videos are watched by millions of people before it is aired on TV. Conversations on social media sometimes go on for days or weeks. Many companies have resorted to using shock value to get attention, whereas other companies have used a more meaningful message to enhance the staying power of the message.
Measuring the impact of these ads is very tricky. Impact varies from company to company, and also depends on the time frame. But studies show that Super Bowl does have a positive impact on the brand. The impact is greatest within the first few days to weeks and fades away after several months.
Perennial Super Bowl advertisers do have a fear of missing out, so they continue to advertise. New brands get a big recognition boost that can provide a short term bump that some companies can convert into a long term windfall.
Savvy brands are able to combine the power of traditional TV with the shares and likes on digital platforms to reach and stay engaged with their customers.