Super Bowl, Super Opportunity

Super Bowl week is upon us. Known as much for the commercials (if not more) as for the games, this is a big week for many advertisers. Buying just a 30 second spot to show during the game is a huge investment for any company. For some, the expense doesn’t look nearly as large, but $2.4 million is a lot of money for anyone.

I think one of the really interesting things to watch for will be how companies handle the campaigns after the game. I’m curious to see who ties themselves in to an integrated online effort. It’s reasonable to expect many fans of the ads will go looking for more online. Whether they just want to see the ad again, or find out more about it, chances are good the audience will be heading for Google, Yahoo!, or MSN to satisfy their curiosity.

In fact, the apparent target audience for most companies is also the same audience that spends a lot of time online. Advertisers are after 18-45 year olds who can spend money. In fact, a significant portion of the 18-24 year old group says they’ll watch the game just for the commercials (from the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association).

Savvy companies have already set up mini-sites and subdomains to help support the “Super” ads. They’ve taken care to optimize the sites based on lasting memories and obvious tie-ins. They’ve probably even earmarked budget for PPC campaigns to run in the weeks following the game.

Sadly though, and it may be the cynic in me, I expect a lot of companies are going to miss out on the post game opportunity. They’ll have focused solely on their one TV spot and they’ll hope that a single view can leave enough of a name impression to bring visitors on their own.

Maybe it will, but on one of the biggest gambling days of the year, that might be one of the riskiest bets of all.