Friday, January 18, 2013

Can Advertisers Do Better Than A $4M Super Bowl Ad?

Those in book publishing -- outside a rare mega-bestselling author – cannot fathom a marketing and advertising budget with seven digits, or six (or often, even five) but for Corporate America, a few million dollars to hawk something is the cost of doing business. But with advertisers paying an average of 3.75 million dollars for a 30-second spot (plus hundreds of thousands to film a commercial worthy of the big game) during the Super Bowl broadcast, one has to wonder if such money could not be spent in a better way.

All of the spots sold out about a month before the championship battle, so perhaps advertisers got a cheap deal. Or maybe it is a sign that the economy is coming back. Or perhaps some advertisers did not crunch the numbers against other options.

The appeal of the Super Bowl ad is great, including these factors:

1.      Your ad could be seen by as many as 100,000,000 viewers.

2.      The company can brand itself around the ad for years to come.

3.      The media covers the advertisers of the big game, reviewing the ads as if they were movies.

4.      The advertiser can use the ad to sell a specific product, brand an image, or get people to go to its site – where they can extend the promotion – or all of the above.

On the other hand, what else could the money be spent on that would deliver the same or better value?

If the ad itself is not memorable or particularly moving, and if you only run it once during the game, especially at a time when interest may have died down due to the score or time of night, the advertiser may not have fully exploited the opportunity.

I’d say the advertiser is not creative or the product is not a big-ticket item, stick to other means of marketing and advertising. Even if you want to go beyond Google Adwords, traditional ads on TV, radio and print, and Groupon deals, and any other pay-for-play activity and sponsorships, you could take that money and stage an event or utilize a celebrity spokesperson to get a lot of media and consumer attention.

A Super Bowl commercial lasts just 30 seconds but a campaign that involves a comprehensive, targeted, and repetitive approach is likely to secure more sales long term. But it is too tempting to dismiss an ad on TV for the Super Bowl, isn’t it?

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2013 ©

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