Cost Of Super Bowl Spot An Enduring Fascination
There aren’t many numbers that generate the type of widespread interest the cost of a Super Bowl spot does. People perk up when they hear the numbers each year.
There’s incredulity with someone's willingness to spend $4 million for 30 seconds, which is made all the more curious when figuring that’s like $130,000 a second.
How crazy! What a waste! Who are these fools making these decisions?
Then, that initial disbelief can lead to even more questions after a ho-hum spot airs: “$4 million for that garbage!”
So, it would seem marketers would want to do everything possible to keep the cost of an ad under wraps. Please no headlines about some exorbitant figure.
And surely, they would plead with networks not to stand up and declare: “Demand was so high, several advertisers have paid (insert exorbitant figure here).”
No. Once a marketer has committed the money, it makes sense to welcome the declarations. Let a network tout the high pricing, let the charges of “this kind of excessive spending is what’s bringing this country down” rage.
It spurs attention. Much of what gets people to tune into the ads so intently is simply the cost itself. People enjoy the opportunity to judge whether the money was well-spent.
Of course, that brings an imperative not to offer a dud of a spot. If people think a company is crazy enough to spend $4 million, their amazement doubles if they determine the investment was as valuable as shredding bills. (Some might suggest that happened to BlackBerry on Sunday.)
But floating word about how expensive the big game is can bring big-time interest in a marketer, notably some of the smaller advertisers that annually jump into the game. Consider Wonderful Pistachios this year. At least before the game, some people might have been wondering: "If they have an extra $4 million to spend, people must really like their nuts, what am I missing?"
So, on one level, part of what advertisers are paying $4 million for is for people to know they are paying $4 million.