30 seconds. $4.5 million. 111.5 million viewers.
The Super Bowl is the year’s biggest opportunity for advertisers to reach an audience of enthusiastic and focused viewers – but that opportunity comes with a steep price tag. Each year we hear grumblings about the high cost, yet networks continue to sell out their inventory and the number of new advertisers getting in on the game continues to grow. According to eMarketer and Kantar Media, first-time advertisers increased from six to nine brands between 2013 and 2014, and will reach 15 this year. But why are the brands willing to pay such a steep price?
The Super Bowl gets the hype for a reason: it’s the largest live U.S. television event, with an engaged and segmented audience, and brands are willing to fork over their budgets for it. That won’t change anytime soon. But how can brands truly maximize their multi-million dollar investment? There’s a different way of reaching this engaged and segmented audience. Participating brands need to take a sophisticated, integrated approach extending beyond the TV spot to spark more conversation and engage target audiences with a personalized message across channels.
Going Beyond the TV Spot
Just like the teams’ long run all the way to the Super Bowl, the brands have to compete all year long. In recent years, brands have started sharing teasers or full spots on YouTube weeks before the game. As the conversation about ads is a big part of the prize when it comes to the life of Super Bowl spots, sparking conversation earlier – by teasing the audience with a snippet of content ahead of the game or creating social media interactions between brand and consumer – pays off. This is one step toward furthering a brand’s investment, but CMOs are still struggling to prolong the life of a 15-60 second ad. Any NFL coach will tell that you can’t win a season with a single play.
Brand spots are more likely to be shared and exponentially take off if there is true context to the audience. Brands that simply move their TV creative to online are doomed to fail because they miss the purpose of digital mediums: the ability to connect with consumers in a real-time, one-to-one basis with personalized messages.
Since brands can’t huddle up 111.5 million viewers on other evenings, it’s key to figure out how to extend the reach of mass media vehicles, like TV, by continuing the engagement in a way that’s contextually relevant to consumers. Brands have measurable, reliable data on individuals and can use that data to fuel the right dialogue with their consumer audiences at the right time. This is critical to ensure impactful ad performance as viewers are more likely to take action and make a purchase if the ad they view is personalized and relevant to them at that moment in time.
Investing in a Super Bowl ad spot can pay off for brands, if they understand the science of an integrated campaign that moves beyond the one-to-many TV message to one-to-one online video messages. This hasn’t been executed on a mass scale yet, but we’re in the midst of a revolution and brands are already leveraging the data they have available to them to create personalized video advertising strategies.