Should you release your Super Bowl ad early?
Everyone knows that the Super Bowl is the one night of the year that most viewers will turn the volume up for an ad. You hear it all the time: people who don’t like football will watch the Super Bowl just for the ads. After all, part of the ad hype is that everyone knows just how much an ad costs that year (this year it’s $3.8M for 30 seconds of airtime). So, will releasing your ad early ruin the fun for everyone, or is it a smart marketing move?
“The Super Bowl has become like those old carnival barkers competing for your attention,” says JP Aguirre, communication strategy director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, whose ad for Doritos will air this year. “After a while, your message can be drowned out by the cacophony of competing ads. Sometimes, releasing your spot a little early to key influencers online helps to build some momentum going into the big day.”
But if your ad isn’t great, you don’t stand a chance.
“You better be confident that consumers will not only think it’s funny or interesting, but that it is so funny and interesting that they want to share it with family and friends,” warns Aguirre. “If not, you sort of just blew your wad before the curtains have even gone up.”
Steve O’Connell doesn’t quite agree. “For sure, releasing your ads early can give your spot more time in the spotlight. And the notion of "blowing the surprise" is a myth,” says the partner and executive creative director at Red Tettemer + Partners, who also have an ad for real estate company Century 21 in this year’s game.
He does agree that there can be a downside, but only one, to releasing your Super Bowl ad early. “The only downside is that if it's part of a bigger campaign, then it means your campaign needs to be over before the big game,” he says. “For instance, if you're launching a big campaign with the commercial as the culmination of your efforts, it's best to have that climax happen during the big game, rather than spoiling it earlier.”