Okay, the big day is finally here. The media and snack blitz is in high gear. All we’re hearing about is the Super Bowl. So, in honor of this esteemed marketing event, lets talk about those much-talked about Super Bowl ads. Who knows, maybe we’ll learn something along the way…
My biggest complaint about Super Bowl advertising is that it has so often been mis-used. The dot-coms were great at this. They’d spend a couple million bucks (in many cases the bulk of their annual advertising budget) on a TV ad that was gone in 60 seconds.
What does one repetition of your marketing message buy you when most of the people who saw the message would never want or need whatever your company offers?
One thing it does NOT buy you is much marketing value. You do NOT build brand equity buy flashing (no pun intended) your message in front of a very broad audience one time.
I know a LOT of advertising and marketing big shots will disagree with me here but I don’t think even the big consumer companies get good value from their ads during the Super Bowl. If I manage a budget for a multi-billion dollar consumer products company there are many more effective ways to deliver my message to my audience at a much lower cost per exposure. (Just my humble opinion.)
So, what can we learn from Super Bowl advertising? Let’s start with this:
Most Super Bowl advertising is about entertainment and ego.
If your purpose in running an expensive ad during the Super Bowl is to stroke your ego and show the world you have arrived (and the cost of the ad is in your budget) then great. You have a perfect media channel to beat your chest and proclaim your greatness.
Or, if your advertising goal is to entertain millions of people (between other high-impact entertainment like the actual football game and half-time events) then you have the world’s number one forum for doing so. So, have at it!
There is a third reason I can think of for advertising during the Super Bowl.
And that’s when you want to make a big impact all at once AND your Super Bowl advertising is just one part of a bigger, broader campaign to deliver your message.
If you’re a mega-consumer products company (Pepsi, Nike, McDonalds, etc) and you want to roll out a new product this would be a good fit. You combine your Super Bowl ads with a ton of other marketing to drive the message home to your target market.
The real lesson provided by Super Bowl advertising is that any advertising you do should have a specific goal AND it should be just one part of a larger, coordinated campaign to deliver your message to the right people with enough exposure to accomplish your goals (within your budget).
Whether you plan ads for a billion dollar company or the local neighborhood convenience store, don’t spend dollar one until you know what you’re trying to accomplish and you have a budget in place to deliver your message as many ways as possible to your audience.
Well, that’s the advertising lesson for Super Bowl Sunday. Now, back to the game”