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

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 M by 2015

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide 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.
Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'i
X
Scott Stearns
September 23, 2014 10:52 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video US, Gulf Allies Strike Islamic State Militants in Syria

United States forces have carried out strikes against Islamic State or ISIL militant positions in Syria - the first time Western forces have taken action on Syrian soil. Five U.S. allies from the Gulf joined the military action. Local reports suggest dozens of militants were killed. The U.S. also carried out unilateral missile strikes against a Syria-based terror group which Washington says poses an imminent threat to the West. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Used to Kill Cancer Tumor

There is a new way of killing certain cancer tumors that allows the patient to go home on the same day. Surgeons at the Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California became the first doctors to use this procedure on a patient with the help of high intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, and new robotic technology. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in Five Countries

Hollywood stars Alicia Keys, Jennifer Garner and 30 others have voiced their support for a U.S.-backed initiative called "Let Girls Learn." The $231 million program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is aimed at ensuring public and quality education for girls worldwide. As VOA's Mariama Diallo reports, this new program will focus on five countries in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Video

Video UN: Relocation of Bedouins in Israel Weakens Two-state Solution

Rural Bedouins living in disputed lands east of Jerusalem could soon find themselves forcibly relocated. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Jerusalem that while Israel defends the move as in the Bedouins’ best interests, the United Nations says the plan threatens the survival of the two-state solution with Palestinians.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Prolonged Drought Plagues SW Oklahoma Farmers

Parts of western Texas and southwestern Oklahoma have been in drought conditions for several years running and the deficit in rainfall has taken a heavy toll on cotton and grain production. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says the state has suffered $2 billion in agricultural losses since 2011. There has been rain in recent weeks, but, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Altus, Oklahoma, for most farmers it has been too late.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid