Super Bowl commercials are among the most viewed television broadcasts. According to Nielsen, Super Bowl XLIX attracted more than 114 million people. In fact, this was the highest number to have been recorded in the history of any US television broadcast. Those commercials have since become so powerful that many American households will view the game just to get a glimpse of the ads.
According to USA Today, Super Bowl commercials record the best response from viewers compared to ads viewed at other times of the year. And Super Bowl ads have many endearing features such as great humor, story quality, unpredictability, and other iconic effects. As a result, many high-profile brands have decided to make regular appearances in these commercials.
Even so, are Super Bowl commercials really worth it?
Cost Vs. Result
A single advert running for 30 seconds attracts more than $4 million. Many advertisers find the cost challenging because they’re not sure if the commercials are worth the price. But a recent study on Super Bowl ads has found that ads get the best response during significant sporting events; even more importantly, they significantly increase sales. Additionally, sales see a tremendous increase when the advertiser dominates — or has no competitor — in a particular market niche. That said, what can marketers learn from Super Bowl commercials to benefit their brands?
Advertising markets should be more creative and learn the art of showing their products without necessarily focusing on the brand itself. The reality is that the world of television advertising is changing rapidly; today, you don’t need to interrupt viewers with stories of how great your brand or product can benefit them. Instead, it’s much more beneficial to add creativity to your story. For instance, the 2011 “Volkswagen The Force” advert is a perfect example of showing less of the product in favor of piquing audience interest. If you remember, in the ad, the wandering kid is seen searching everywhere to find “The Force” — including the washing machine, the treadmill, and the dog — to no avail. Eventually, the kid finds what he is looking for in his dad’s Volkswagen.
Super Bowl commercials require brands to bid more than their competitors. But this is a challenge to small and growing companies who may want to promote their products through the platform, as they may be unable to afford to outbid bid bigger and more established companies. This forces smaller companies to be more creative. For example, during its XC6O promotion in 2015, Volvo decided to give away a free car to any contestant who tweeted #VolvoContest any time a car appeared on an advert throughout the game. And this trick actually worked because they were able to create the XC60 awareness and save money in the process.
Some advertisers may still be stuck on the question of the return value of Super Bowl commercials; that’s understandable with costs running as high as $4 million per 30-second ad. As a result, complex and generic advertising is slowly being phased out of the marketplace. Instead, more companies are deciding to bite the bullet by going the extra mile and investing in Super Bowl advertisements because the commercials result in high sales and increasing profits.
Photo Credit: Erik Drost