The Super Bowl has become one of the most watched television events of the year. Today, about 40 percent of all U.S. households — 90 million people — sit down to watch the whole game, while about 140 million people tune in for at least part of it. And for many non-football fans, watching the much-hyped commercials has become as much a spectator sport as the game itself. (Zendrian, 2008). This statistic shows that not only do people just tune in for the game, but they tune in to watch the innovative yet informative advertisements aired during the Super Bowl. I for one thoroughly enjoy watching the ads aired during the Super Bowl. That is one of the major motivations that make me watch the Super Bowl.
The very first Super Bowl commercial that aired on TV cost around $40,000.Two decades later, Apple’s groundbreaking commercial hit the TV screens in 1984 and the prices began to skyrocket and reached $600,000 by 1987. Today the prices are so high that a 30 second commercial costs around $2.7M-3M. This is not a small figure at all. Last year’s Super Bowl sold out its ad inventory earlier than ever (Zendrian, 2008). Altogether Sixty-seven spots were sold for the 2009 Super Bowl at a grand total of $206.5 million.
Looking at the technology we have today, one of the major disadvantages of advertising in the Super Bowl is the option to fast forward the ads and get back straight to the game. In a TiVo world many viewers fast-forward through commercials and because of this companies lose the interest of their viewers. Thus, companies go the extra mile to try and target the captive audiences to get their attention. This is particularly hard for smaller companies, who have a more complex message or product, may find little benefit from Super Bowl ads at all, since consumers typically need to see a commercial three times before it actually affects buying behavior. (Zendrian, 2008).
The consumers don’t know what the company is trying to portray thus it is very important to build a brand familiarity with the consumers otherwise the millions spent on advertising at the Super Bowl will go to waste. Since most of the demographic tends to be males between the ages of 20 and 50, it makes sense for companies to cater to the needs of that demographic. Spending millions on a high end advertisement can be a big gamble, thus, companies need to zero in on the message they are trying to deliver — and whether an event like the Super Bowl, with its hefty price tag, is really the best venue. (Zendrian, 2008).
Companies advertising during the Super Bowl
Google’s ad was very nice when it first aired on the Super Bowl. The ad told a story of love and romance through a series of searches. (Calkins, 2010).
It also provided us an insight on how to use Google Instant. Google Instant provides predictions and results while the user is typing which in my opinion was pretty cool when they demonstrated that on TV.
The branding in this ad was exceptional and the power of Google was very clear. (Calkins, 2010).
I found the Snickers ad particularly funny and it was targeted towards every demographic. They featured 90 year old Betty White being tackled by college football players.
The ad was unexpected and entertaining. Perhaps more importantly, the message was clear: you aren’t yourself when you are hungry, so keep a Snickers bar handy. I think the ad payed off really well and was very memorable to all people watching the game. (Calkins, 2010).
This ad was also a nice one portraying a few depressed men, but then at the end rewards them by driving a Dodge Charger. The key line in the ad was: Man’s Last Stand. In my view this ad clearly targeted men, which is ideal for such a car like Charger. It obviously isn’t a family car nor is it a car for women. It’s a fast sporty car for men. (Calkins, 2010).
Audi’s ad was also good. It clearly branded itself throughout the advertisement thus making it look prominent. This ad was also meant to target men and clearly that was a good idea. I recall checking Yahoo the next 2-3 days and saw that Audi was the top 10 searches on the list.
I personally did not like the Volkswagen ad as it did not portray a clear and concise message to the audience. The ad failed to brand itself like Audi or the Dodge Charger and I don’t think after watching it people would go and buy the car or search for it.
Doritos ran four consumer-generated spots on the Super Bowl. All of the spots were well branded and engaging. Doritos fell short in its bid to have the top three spots in the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter, and we suspect the brand fell far short of its PR goals. Nonetheless, the spots were good and the overall impact was positive for the brand. (Calkins, 2010).
Budweiser once again ran more spots than any other company on the Super Bowl and, overall, the spots worked well. (Calkins, 2010).
I particularly enjoyed the Bud Light’s advertisements. They advertised their brand well, and it was fun to watch how Bud and Whole Wheat got along to form Bud Light. Overall they used their spots well and it was very exciting to watch.
E-Trade ran two spots featuring babies this year. One worked very well; the message was clear and the delivery was charming. (Calkins, 2010).
The other was good, but not as good as the first one. Nonetheless, the ads were cute and memorable and I really enjoyed the ads.
As we can the companies that advertised during the Super Bowl were mainly companies from the automobile industry, food industry, internet (Google), Business industry etc. There were many more advertisements that aired on TV from various backgrounds. You could see commercials advertising their TV shows and latest movies. PepsiCo. and Dream Works teamed up together for an ad that was 2.5 minutes long showcasing Dream Work’s new movie Monsters Vs. Aliens and PepsiCo’s SoBe Life water.
When we think about the Super Bowl, the first question that comes to everybody’s mind is whether it is worth spending endless amounts of money on advertisements. In my opinion, every dollar spent on advertising during the Super Bowl is important because companies get a chance to advertise their products and services and this generates great revenue for the companies.
Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest selling day for pizza delivery franchises such as Pizza Hut, Dominos, and Round Table. In addition, beer sales are at their highest during Super Bowl week. For marketing, Super Bowl is almost as profitable as the Christmas holiday season. (Pitner, 2010).
From this we can see that people are buying snacks and all kinds of things to keep themselves entertained. Lays, Dorito’s, Pepsi, Coke etc are the most wanted items during Super Bowl Sunday and sales for these companies usually sky rocket at these times. Super Bowl is so heavily publicized that you can see the media coverage on TV, magazines, shows and this is what drives the consumers to purchase and search for the products and services of the various companies. After this year’s Super Bowl, there was significant amount of online traffic for companies like E-Trade and CareerBuilder as they each had two spots on the Super Bowl.