Super Bowl Advertising – Are Big Advertising Budgets Worth it?

Strategy Plan One

February 6, 2012 

The opinions on the value of advertising during Super Bowl are quite divided by the corporate world and consumers / viewers.  Most viewers that do like Super Bowl ads are appreciating the entertainment value of these ads.  On the other side, a consumer may see little value in some of these ads, as those ads may do very little to tell a story or promote a product or service.  Big advertising budgets obviously have pros and cons, with Super Bowl advertising at the top of the charts.

In this age of protests and occupy this and that, did any corporations get that message?  At $3.5 Million per crack, did anyone think it may be worthwhile promoting or supporting their side causes, instead of entertaining viewers?  I know that sounds boring and maybe not fits, but I can’t help to think of how many watching (the 99 %?) would focus on whether the corporate world was trying to do the right thing.  Of the “other 99%” that did watch, I am not sure they would agree with corporations spending this money on entertainment, when $3.5 Million could employ 70-100 mid-level, full-time positions.  The corporations may come back at us with the fact that $3.5 Million in advertising resulted in an additional $7.0 Million in revenue and 140-200 jobs created.  As you can see, positions are solidified on both sides.

At the end of the half time show, the crowd cheered to the “World Peace” message lit up on the field; I am sure the emotional response from most of the rest of the world viewers was the same.  And that’s the point – emotional connection with the viewers.  I am not sure that a vampire bush party did it, although with reference to the above, was entertaining (different type of connection with viewers).

A lot of things could be done on a $3.5 Million budget.  Most entrepreneurs and small businesses are not in this same league the corporate world is in.  I am sure that there will be some brand awareness or increased sales from these ads, but this only forms part of the multi-million budgets these corporations have.

On positive notes, many positions were created in the production of commercials, and with an estimated $11 Billion spent on food and retail around Super Bowl, many more.  I am sure the good people of Indianapolis benefited greatly with the ~$150 Million in direct spending in their community.  Fiat (LA Times) has reported that their ads during Super Bowl have resulted in a 138% increase in traffic to their website; logic would state this would lead to improved sales, improved company, and more employment.   All benefits from big budget advertising.

When advertising and dedicating resources, perception and optics should be key factors in your marketing budgets and should shape your own business’ or corporation’s messages to the consumer.  In tough economic times it is difficult to do anything else but to message around helping people, helping the consumer, and maybe not just to entertain.

Strategy Plan One

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

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