Dakarai Turner

Super Bowl Ads: Do You Get What You Pay For?

February 7, 2017

The Super Bowl – A time where just about everyone becomes a football fan. Whether that is for the parties that form around the big game filled with endless snacks and booze, the spectacular half time performance, or if you’re in advertising…the ads. It goes without saying that brands who choose to advertise during the Super Bowl are benefiting from the reach potential and on an awareness level. With just about 111.3 million average viewers tuning into this years big game, it equates to quite the number of eyeballs on a brands product.

The price-tag for a :30 second spot this year was $5M, and this begs the question whether or not having a presence in the Super Bowl is worth the money. For the Coca-Cola’s and Budweiser’s of the world, it’s a no-brainer. However, for the smaller companies that don’t do hundreds of millions of dollars or more in sales, the $5M price-tag isn’t an easy decision. Yes, millions of people will see your ad live, and millions more will see it online for years to come, but will this transfer into anything more than awareness? Below are a couple reasons why I believe Super Bowl ads aren’t worth it for every brand.

The money can be used better

Obviously this one will vary based on the company. However, the ad spot is $5M, which doesn’t include the actual cost to produce the ad which will likely cost millions more. Could a brand be better off using the $5M for a great ad campaign or several, instead of the Super Bowl? Smaller brands are essentially shelling out the kind of money to sit at the big table with the major players that advertise every year. Although, the difference is that I’m willing to bet no one can name all or even most of the advertisers from last year’s Super Bowl. They are great to watch during the game and for a short while afterwards, but no one is looking out for the 2011 Super Bowl ads. Of course, correct me if  I’m wrong.

The competition

The Super Bowl creates such a big stage for advertisers that everyone attempts to bring out their absolute best work possible. Each year there really is just a handful of the standout ads that people continue to talk about. The not so great ads? Well there’s always going to be a few and imagine the feeling of spending that kind of money just to hear that people didn’t like your ad or worse, that no one is even talking about it. This is a reality every year and simply part of the risk behind the $5M price-tag. Viewers are paying more attention to the ads every year and this creates pressure for brands to create something truly entertaining, new, and special. Whether your ad is emotionally driven, humorous, or even both, you want it to be the subject of conversation at just about every water cooler the next day.

The Super Bowl works very well for product and campaign launches. It’s the perfect broadcast medium because of the size of the audience it’s reaching. With that being said, if you are simply having an ad without any real additional digital/social tie in, what are you really doing it for? What do you guys think? Are all the Super Bowl ads worth the money in your opinion?

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Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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