The Super Bowl is a monumental event that draws over 150 million U.S. viewers each year. This one event continues as THE television advertising juggernaut. Of the top 30 most viewed television programs of all time, the Super Bowl accounts for 24. This is the reason advertisers flock to the event – the biggest day of the year for advertising – and why Super Bowl ad spending has reached $1.7 billion. After all, where else can advertisers be guaranteed to reach over 150 million U.S. viewers in one day?
In 2010, a 30-second advertising spot cost $2,700,000 – a 10% decrease from the 2009 rate of $3 million (even the Super Bowl isn’t completely immune to the recession). In 2011, the Fox Network set commercial rates between $2.8 to $3 million per 30-second spot and aired 46 minutes network ads. This year, a 30-second ad will cost approximately $3.5 million.
Does this incredible advertising investment pay off?
- According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA) 26% of people surveyed in 2011 believed commercials to be the reason they watched the Super Bowl.
- In 2011, few viewers tuned away during the commercial breaks, with the spot-to-program retention index averaging 100 (Commercial Viewing Index).
- From 1996-2010, Super Bowl advertisers topped the S&P 500 by an average of 1% in a two-week period surrounding the game. Many of these companies that used those same ads year-round topped the market even longer.
- Researchers forecasts that 60 percent of fans watching the Super Bowl this year will also be tied into a second screen, such as a smartphone or tablet.
- Social media now provides advertisers with instant feedback and increased exposure. “The social media conversation has put more value on a Super Bowl ad, fans will discuss your ads on Twitter and Facebook and then go to YouTube to watch it on demand over and over again,” said Brad Adgate, senior vice president of research at Horizon Media.
The Super Bowl advertising phenomenon is usually credited to Anheuser-Busch, who, in 1989, introduced a promotion call the Bud Bowl – a series of commercials featuring tiny beer bottles playing football. The result: Budweiser sales soared by 17% the month following the commercial. That year, 1989, “the king of beers” crowned Super Bowl as the television advertisement empire, and it grows stronger every year.
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