SuperBowl ads don’t last 30 seconds

Last weekend many of us witnessed the third most watched broadcast in US history. That’s right, SuperBowl 50 which saw the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10, averaged 111.9 million TV viewers, and that’s not including internet streaming.

And as we know by now, superbowl is not just about football but also advertising. And indeed, many brand advertisers spent a whopping $5M on a 30 second ad. $5M that does not include the creative and the other elements that go into their campaign.

Is it all worth it?

Along with the advertising frenzy, there’s the media craze of whether paying so much money for such a short time is worth it. Depending on which article you read, you may be on either side of the fence, but in most cases you would probably end up in the ‘Nay’ sayers camp.

So let me offer a potential ‘Yea’ perspective. As there’s a  buildup to the colossal sporting event there’s also a buildup to the advertising one. And the same goes to the post game/ads analyses. In a way, the advertisers are being ranked as if the sporting event itself is one big advertising competition, kind of like the Oscars. The higher you get on the list, the bigger the factor to your ads ROI.

So what’s the bottom line?

Unfortunately, I’ll have to say it depends. Depends on the advertiser, their strategy and the rank which they ended up after the event. Looking at it holistically, with all the details and the proper context applied, can lead you to an answer. That view should include the free aftershock effect the advertiser receives from participating in one of the most luxurious and talked about advertising competition in the world, the superbowl!

To make things even sweeter, advertisers can team up and come with a joint campaign to optimize the costs. In superbowl 50, the team Wix-Dreamworks provided a great example and indeed ranked high and received plenty of free aftershock promotions.

So I wouldn’t write off these 30 second ads too soon, as with all the media attention before, during and after the main event, the advertisers can spread the costs and reap the benefits for 30 days and not just 30 seconds.

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