Which is More Super: the Ads or the Bowl?

On Sunday, February 7, nearly 200 million people are expected to watch the Super Bowl, staggering numbers by any measure. This year’s 50th anniversary game features a retiring Hall of Famer vs. a dabbing MVP; what more could fans ask for? Well, $5 million ads, of course!

This year, advertisers will spend $166,666 per second to promote their brand to an audience that will immediately tweet, post or chat about their reaction. For well-established and sizable brands, getting this air time can be a no-brainer. But what’s amazing are the smaller brands that spend the bulk of their annual ad budget on such a fleeting opportunity. What if your time slot is right before Coldplay? Won’t most viewers be grabbing snacks so they can watch the halftime show? But advertise, they will.

So why are the Super Bowl and its high-profile ad campaigns such a phenomena?

  1. History: Sports competitions have long been a primary form of entertainment dating back to ancient times. Think Greek games and amphitheaters. They play; we watch!
  2. Brand equity: The NFL is among the most successful brands today; period. The championship game is a must-see event due to the incredible loyalty and size of its fan base.
  3. You score and you win: Whether the game or the ads, getting points on the board means you’re assured replays and extended interest.
  4. Level playing field: Those who may know less about football can easily engage in conversations about the ads; after all, what’s so complicated about a 30-second video?
  5. Shared experience: And the bottom line, come Monday morning, who wants to be the only person in the universe who missed the big game and can’t vote on the best and worst ads?

Whether its touchdowns or tacos that will turn your attention to the screen, this Super event is truly the epitome of a branded experience. Let the games – and the marketing – begin!