Most American consumers have watched (and even enjoyed) a Super Bowl ad at some point, even if they’re not professional football fans. These ads, which run well into the millions of dollars to produce and air, are viewed by an estimated 114 million consumers during the live event, and then are repurposed for network advertising once the big game is over.
But an article by Erik J Martin for EContentMag.com explains why this may not translate into the return that advertisers and businesses hope for, as well as offers a mathematical look at how digital advertising in magazines, newspapers, even websites can offer higher returns.
First, the bad news: “Results of a recent consumer poll by Genesis Media reveal that 90% of respondents aren’t likely to buy something they saw in a Super Bowl ad, and 75% indicate they don’t recall many Super Bowl spots from last year. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that, currently, about 1 in 3 consumers are probably browsing the web via their tablet/smartphone during the big game, the survey shows. Thirty-five percent of those polled say they prefer online ads to TV commercials, and 32% are more likely to watch an online commercial if it’s relevant to them.”
Those ads may be hilarious or heart-warming or even downright confusing, but data is showing that consumers aren’t responding to them, at least not in the immediate purchasing actions. There’s more brand recognition, especially as consumers take to social media outlets like Twitter to discuss, them, but that’s not really the goal. In an interesting note, this year’s highly-ridiculed Nationwide insurance Super Bowl ad became a meme on social media before the game had even ended.
Which brings up another of Martin’s points: the high volume of internet use during the live game, indicating that consumers are surfing the web on their mobile devices rather than paying attention to the advertisements. That can be frustrating considering the $4.5 million price tag of a 30-second slot, over and above the typical $1.5 million companies spend to produce a single commercial for the Super Bowl.
The article highlights the dollar-by-dollar math involved in opting for digital ad space over a one-time push like the Super Bowl, indicating that there are far better opportunities in things like digital magazines, which have a farther reach over time and can be tailored to a specific audience rather than just to the general population.