News / USA

Super Bowl Ads Cost Big Bucks, Deliver Huge Audience

Multimedia

Audio
Steve Schy

The Super Bowl is traditionally one of the biggest television events of the year, and as a result, it is the top showcase for advertisers trying to reach the National Football League championship game's huge audience.  But, the worldwide economic slowdown has had an impact - with advertising prices falling for just the second time in the Super Bowl's 44-year history.

Even people who do not care about American-style football often watch the Super Bowl, with an estimated worldwide audience this year of around one billion people.  In the United States, it is like a gigantic national party day that no one wants to miss.  And with a total U.S. audience estimated to be around 150 million viewers, Thomas Harpointner, CEO of the e-business and interactive consulting company AIS Media, says many advertisers don't want to miss it either.
 
"The commercials are the most talked-about commercials on the planet," he said. "And that's what makes the commercials and the opportunity to advertise on the Super Bowl so special.  So for a company that is just launching, or launching a new product line, or is making a big company shift, the Super Bowl offers a unique platform."

Another unique feature of advertising on the Super Bowl is that even many who are not football fans, tune in just to watch the commercials.  Aimee Picchi, who writes about business and marketing for AOL's Daily Finance, says studies have shown the ads are quite effective.

"Two-thirds of the respondents remembered their favorite brand advertiser from last year's Super Bowl, but only 39 percent recalled the winning team," she said. "These ads do have a huge impact.  So many people know that they are watching the Super Bowl not just for the game but for the ads, that they are paying close attention to the ads and to the messages." 

Even though the recession has forced a drop in the amount it costs to buy commercials in the big game for just the second time in history, they are still the most expensive on television.  In 2009, the cost for a 30-second commercial reached an average of $3 million. 

But a survey of advertisers and media buyers by ad researcher TNS Media Intelligence says in 2010, that same commercial is selling for between $2.5 million and $2.8 million.  Even at those prices, the commercial inventory is nearly sold out.  With such a huge audience, Aimee Picchi is not surprised.

"It's probably the only place today where you can get that huge amount of people watching, wanting to watch the ads.  That alone is worth quite a bit of money," she said. "There was a study I just read which mentioned that one Super Bowl ad can be as effective as 250 regular TV commercials." 

However, commercials for some of the products you might expect to see advertised in the Super Bowl will be missing this year.  PepsiCo will not be advertising its flagship soft drink in the game for the first time in 23 years.  They join automaker General Motors and delivery service FedEx, who dropped out last year.  In addition to the expense of buying the commercial time, Thomas Harpointner says there are additional costs that many forget.

"The amount of preparation that goes in, you know, companies spend millions more in production costs, man hours, PR [public relations].  A substantial amount of time and resources are committed to a Super Bowl ad," he said. "There has to be a strategy beyond just a 30-second ad.  The question has to be 'How do we maximize the value of the traffic that we're going to receive?'"

For a lot of advertisers, internet advertising, social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook, and internet searches on sites such as YouTube can be the answer.  When added to the "word of mouth" discussions around office water coolers, Aimee Picchi says they give the commercials an even greater reach and impact to build customer awareness. 

"There are so many ways to view Super Bowl ads on the web following the Super Bowl," she said. "And the Super Bowl for decades has been the one time that you are actually interested in watching the ads.   A huge number of people who say they are going to watch the Super Bowl also plan to re-watch the ads online after the game is over." 

As some advertisers abandon Super Bowl ads for new media campaigns, newcomers and smaller companies take their places to advertise on the big game.  The TNS survey says that in a typical year, as many as 25-percent of the advertisers are new to the broadcast.  Video game company Electronic Arts, the U.S. Census Bureau and vacation rental company HomeAway are among those buying Super Bowl commercials for the first time in 2010.  Brian Sharples, CEO and founder of HomeAway explains why his company decided to invest in Super Bowl advertising.

"It falls right smack in the peak season of our business," he said. "And as it turns out, most people do that planning in the first quarter.  Right in the January, February, March time-frame.  And so the timing was great for us." 

And if you think there are more commercials breaking up the action on the field than there used to be, you're right.  Last year's Super Bowl telecast included a record 45 minutes and five seconds of air time for commercials.  But the biggest Super Bowl advertiser is not a carmaker or beer or fast food sponsor.  That distinction belongs to the broadcast network (this year CBS) itself, which takes as much as one-quarter of the commercial time to promote its own shows.
 

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid