Super Bowl – Bust Or Buzz?

“Super Bowl advertising is less about the relevance of a message but more about the entertainment quotient,” said Devika Bulchandani, Executive Vice-President Director of strategic planning at the New York office of McCann Erickson. According to Devika, marketers aren’t selling a product; they are creating a brand buzz.

But what about that buzz? Are advertisers getting the biggest bang for their buzz?

With 93 million viewers, according to Nielsen’s measurement of SuperBowl XLI, advertisers are finding ways to be creative since their competition has the same 30 seconds. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more creative measures expected to appear in this year’s contest to attract the ears and eyes of the American consumer.

Who’s Buying What in Super Bowl XLII?

The range is wide and includes warnings to parents about the danger of teens misusing parents’ prescription drugs from the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy. Also, Bridgestone Firestone of North America has reserved two spots for tire ads. While the first spot, “Scream,” shows a woman screaming as her car is about to hit a squirrel, the second, “Unexpected Obstacles,” features an unlikely pair – Richard Simmons and Alice Cooper – and a deer.

Capitalizing on the fact that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, companies like Victoria’s Secret target men and women. Why? The chief marketing officer knows that the Super Bowl is probably the highest-viewed dual-audience vehicle and the perfect target audience.

Would you pay $2.7 million for 30 seconds of air time during the Super Bowl?

That’s the question. Last year, 93.2 million viewers tuned in to the game, which aired on CBS, and marketers paid as much as $2.6 million for a 30-second spot. This year, Fox has gotten some marketers to pay as much as $2.7 million to $3 million per 30 second to appear in the game.

But wait, here you have a collection of customers and their friends; why not throw that $2.7 million at it and watch the bottles fly off the shelves? According to Lisa Haverty, a cognitive scientist at Brain on Brand in Brookline, Massachusetts, who published an article titled, “Don’t Flush Your Ad Down the Super Bowl”:

You might make a cool ad, a memorable ad, an ad beloved by all who behold it, but unless you’ve incorporated some very fundamental cognitive elements, your ad most likely will be attributed to Bud. No one will recall your brand.”

If you compare the cost of a 30-second commercial to an SEO/PPC campaign which is considerably longer than 30 seconds, more like 30 days or 30 weeks, the costs are significantly less! In the search engine optimization world, $2.7 million will not only create a buzz for your company, it will create a campaign that will last through Super Bowl XLII, well into Super Bowl XLIII, and beyond.