With the big game coming up on Sunday the question on many marketers’ minds is: are Super Bowl ads effective?
It’s easy to say no, after all the price of a 30 second spot is around 2.8 or 3 million dollars. Surely we could spend this better reaching out to a more targeted audience if we put the money into finding bloggers and online outlets.
It’s also very easy to say sure it is. You’re reaching 100 million viewers in the US. That’s a CPM of around $30 if we say everyone watching is in your target audience. Additionally everyone pays extra attention to super bowl ads compared to any other ad during the year.
But if the answer were as easy as either of those no one would ask the question. So what are the factors to consider is the real question. One needs to consider several things and here’s a quick few things that came to my mind.
How much of the audience is going to fall within my target market? If it’s 100% a CPM of 30 isn’t bad, if its only 50% or less now we’re talking about $60 or more.
Do I have the budget to do it well? In addition to the ad spend do I have budget to make a great commercial? Do I have the budget to support it with a targeted SEO campaign and an interactive website? If one places a standalone ad it will fail, if they support that ad maybe it’s worth the money for impressions.
How likely am I to be able to spend the money well elsewhere? Bloggers may not be interested/ willing to do a paid content piece on Budweiser, and maybe banner advertising hasn’t worked in the past for Ford.
Number two in my mind is the most important question. If you can support the ad and do it well it can be a great way to generate buzz beyond just the Super Bowl. If not, well… you wasted 3 million dollars.
Of course you also do have to have a good product. In 2006 Ford and JWT did a commercial based around the idea of they’re going green and used Kermit the frog. Creative commercial, well supported by a targeted SEO campaign and one assumes they’ve tried other forms of advertising. However, as good as the campaign might have been it’s still Ford and JWT isn’t the one changing their products.