Super Bowl Ads – A Cultural Phenomenon
The Super Bowl is one of the biggest TV events of the year, drawing 114 million viewers from all over the world (although mostly America). Originally, the Super Bowl was just an important game, but over time it has become much more than that — the best place to launch an ad campaign. An ad paradise, you could even call it. And whether or not the commercials are good, they still gain a gigantic amount of viewership, both on live TV and online before and after the game. Thus of course they cost a whole lot of cash.
The Numbers Behind Super Bowl Ads
To be exact, 4.5 million dollars for one 30 second commercial, a ridiculous amount of money. For an average Monday Night Football 30-second ad, it’s only around $390,000 (still a heck of a lot of money). But really, how much traction do these ads get? Well, it depends on the quality of the ad. It’s pretty much guaranteed at least 100 million viewers, a ton of people reached if you’re a growing business, or any business really. But to add to that, last year’s Budweiser’s classic Clydesdale “Puppy Love” commercial, the stand-out commercial of the year, has 55 million hits on Youtube and counting. And so, the rule pretty much is: if you can get within the top 3 standout commercials, the views on Youtube, social media and online journalism/media will also be significant.
NBC isn’t losing out on this commercial boom, either. With a $4.5 million, 30-second ad cost, it is expected that NBC has made somewhere around $360 million from their ads alone. To get to that incredible number, NBC had to do some serious business: over forty-five minutes of advertisements and endorsements. Note that the amount of time the players are actually throwing the ball around in play, when they’re actually playing, is only 11 minutes. 11?! That means that 114 million people gathered together all over the country, spending an estimated $12.4 billion, making NBC $360 million from companies, and wagered $115 million in Vegas alone. Seriously, what’s wrong with society?
People are so excited for the ads, rather than the game, that Dish Network released a special feature for the game, a reverse of their useful AdHop feature. If you record a show on DVR, AdHop will skip all the commercials for you so you don’t have to skip them yourself. But, for the Super Bowl, AdHop was reversed, meaning people could skip the game, and just watch the ad! No company would release a feature like that unless they thought people would use it.
Even after the Super Bowl is over, the ads still get attention. Youtube has its own “Youtube Ad-Blitz”, where you can vote on your favourite ad currently running. USA Today takes it a step further, having around 7,000 ad experts voting on each ad, and coming out with the best, the worst, and many other interesting statistics in their “Ad Meter” section of their site. And I’m sure, that for months to come, people will be emailing each other the ads they like the most.
This Year’s Ads
There were a couple of surprises in this year’s Super Bowl ads, the first being the surprising number of ads for video games, especially mobile games. There was Clash Of Clans’ funny ad, featuring Liam Neeson, which actually was pretty good, and then Game Of War and a short ad for Heroes’ Charge, both of which were really, really bad. But hey, just the fact that mobile games have enough money to spend $4.5 million on marketing is good, if only the games being advertised were better games. Maybe something like Monument Valley. That would be great.
Lastly, every Super Bowl ad year has a theme. Last year it was cute/heartwarming, and this year, well, it was depressing. With ads such as #likeagirl, and Microsoft’s ad about a child amputee, Budweiser’s Clydesdales Lost Dog ad, and then Nationwide’s terribly depressing ad Make Safe Happen, about child accidents with the catchphrase “I would have ___, but I died.” Unfortunately, this led to a lot of depressing commercial breaks, but luckily a couple of humorous ads were thrown in as well, such as Clash Of Clans’, Avocados From Mexico, Fiat, Doritos, and others. Really, what people want are either funny or visually astounding commercials, a good example of those virtues being combined is Mophie’s ad this year, which you can watch below. Hopefully, big companies will catch on, but then again, we’ll just have to wait till next year’s big game to see find out.
statistics credit: www.statista.com/topics/1264/super-bowl