Whole New Ball Game

There are two Super Bowls out there: Who wins and loses on the field and who has the best ad. This year’s game on Fox proved to be one of the quickest selling tickets for marketers — long before the writers strike made it even more valuable as original TV network programming started to dry up. Shari Cohen, president and co-executive director of national broadcast for MindShare USA, shared a few thoughts on the Super Bowl of advertising.

How did Fox get into such strong position this year?

Fox was able to do a couple of things: They were able to introduce the Red Carpet and have Ryan Seacrest [hosting it] to make it more than just buying a Super Bowl [commercial] unit. There was also the MySpace component Fox introduced [for advertisers to extend their TV message].  As a result there were a number of categories embracing the Super Bowl this year, more than the year before, such as movies. They did a good job of packaging these two new extensions.  

Fox was in much better position, and it got even better when the strike happened and people were looking for opportunities, particularly in sports, where it is kind of strike proof and you can get a sizable rating.

Considering the strength of the marketplace shouldn’t the price of a Super Bowl commercial climb well beyond the reported $2.7 million for a 30-second commercial price tag?

You have to look at the price value relationship and its ROI value. You can get to a point where how high is too high. It’s a pretty hefty price tag and it’s not for everybody. The Super Bowl isn’t exactly a CPM buy. 

The other critical issue is that you are under the microscope when it comes to the creative. You can just put anything in there. Can it stand up to scrutiny?

What kind of audience are you trying to reach? You can’t just approach it from a creative standpoint as you would anything else.

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