Super Bowl Media Buying 'Makes You Be Sharp"

by , Jan 20, 2012, 2:02 PM
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More new advertisers will offer commercials in the upcoming Super Bowl than in recent memory -- probably the most since the Super Bowl in 2000, when 19 new dot-com advertisers spent lavishly, only to mostly disappear soon afterward. 

What does this say? Lessons are hard to learn? Traditional TV is far from dead? If anything, it means media buying and planning professionals will gain lots of knowledge -- both good and bad -- and fast.

Those new Super Bowl advertisers these days aren't new companies for the most part. They include two luxury car brands, Acura and Lexus; real estate company Century 21; yogurt-maker Dannon; apparel retail chain H&M;  and 2nd Story Software, the maker of TaxACT tax-preparation software.

They will join the usual recent Super Bowl suspects: Anheuser-Busch, Audi, Bridgestone, CareerBuilder, Cars.com, Chrysler, E*Trade, General Motors, GoDaddy.com, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mars, PepsiCo, Toyota and Volkswagen. There are also at least four major movie studios -- typical Super Bowl marketers -- that will spend commercial time on assorted upcoming movies.

A new wrinkle is streaming live video of the game on the Internet. Over the last few years, the game has posted record results or around 100 million U.S. TV viewers. That's about a third of all U.S. citizens. How many will stream? Maybe a million, maybe 5 million. Few analysts have good estimates.

The NFL conceded to streaming the game perhaps because of its consistently high ratings; streaming probably won't erode those numbers. To be sure, advertisers paying $3.5 million for a 30-second commercial (or in one case $4 million, according to one report) will surely get their money's worth.

What is the extra cost for streaming ads? According to some media- buying sources it comes to a small surcharge, perhaps around "six-figures" or so.

In the past, advertisers like Cash 4 Gold, Groupon and Just for Feet tried their hand in the big game with perhaps mixed results. New marketers -- big and small -- are always looking to experiment, to test the waters.

Hyundai Motors America showed why it works. The South Korea-based car company had success over the past few years raising its game to that of those other big foreign automakers.

Hyundai has run commercials in the big game for the last five years. "The report cards are instantaneous," Steve Shannon, vp of marketing for Hyundai, told The New York Times. "It makes you be sharp.

Hopefully, for most, that sharpness won't draw blood.

2 comments on "Super Bowl Media Buying 'Makes You Be Sharp"".

  1. Sheldon Senzon from JMS Media, Inc.
    commented on: January 20, 2012 at 3:16 p.m.
    Wayne, good post as usual, enjoyed your take. The Super Bowl is not for the faint of heart, smart marketers understand the upside of participating as well as what else must be done in the way of supporting their messages. So very true about the 2000 "dot.coms" that were one shot wonders both in appearance and existence. As far as "streaming", probably makes sense to view it as a relatively inexpensive insurance policy for TV advertisers.
  2. Rob Frydlewicz from RAF Consulting
    commented on: January 21, 2012 at midnight
    Of course, 100+ million is a HUGE audience but I wonder what the other 200 million in the country are up to on that night?

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