Tag Archives: Super Bowl advertising

Would you spend $4 million to be “Liked” for 30 seconds?

The big game is set.  Super Bowl XLVI will be on CBS next week featuring the San Francisco 49er’s vs. the Baltimore Ravens.  And Americans are going to love it.  But you already know all that.

The raw dollars spent in the United States for the big game by the public, by teams and by advertisers will be an astronomical sum when you start to add it up.  But is it really worth it for advertisers?

Some factoidsSuperbowl-ads.com indicates that Super Bowl TV ads are selling for up to $3.8 million on average for the 30-second spots, but CBS reportedly has already sold out rumors are any remaining spots can be had more than $4 million, for a single 30-second spot. That average is up by $300,000 from the $3.5 million published rate for the 2012 Super Bowl.  Advertisers that we will hear from are: Anheuser-Busch, AXE, Best Buy, Cars.com, Century 21, Coca-Cola, Doritos, Fiat, Ford/Lincoln, GoDaddy.com, Hyundai, Kia, Kraft’s MiO, Mars, Mercedes-Benz, Milk Processor Education Program, Paramount, PepsiCo, Skechers, SodaStream, Taco Bell, Tide — Proctor & Gamble, Toyota, Volkswagen and Wonderful Pistachios.  If we just take 35 ads, this comes to roughly $133 million spent by advertisers at the $3.8 million average.  Note to readers:  do any of those names spend money in print, online, or mobile Yellow Pages??

The Nielsen Company showed that the broadcast of the prior Super Bowl on NBC had an average audience of 111.3 million viewers and was said to be the most-watched television program of all time. The game was viewed in roughly 53.3 million households, with a 47.8 U.S. household rating.

It will probably not surprise you to know that American adults like watching Super Bowl commercials just as much as game itself.  According to a survey released by Chicago-based market research company Lab42, some 39% percent said the commercials were their favorite part of the game while only 28% said watching the football game was their primary interest. Stuffing ourselves with food, and the halftime show were No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

“The commercials are great for all kinds of consumers to engage with the Super Bowl regardless of whether their team is playing or not,” said Lab42 CEO Gauri Sharma. “It’s very interesting that 64 percent of the respondents said half or more of their conversations with respect to the Super Bowl were about the commercials.” (Source)

So shouldn’t that be good news for those advertisers shelling out the average of $3.8 million for a 30-second spot?  You will see that there will be lots of talk about “engagement metrics”, re-tweets on Twitter, “Likes” on Facebook and clicks on everything else, but I have rarely seen any of that correlated to sales. While measuring digital audiences is easier because there’s a ton of data attached to it, the question rarely asked is, what is it that’s being measured, and why? The keyword missing is “ROI”. I even found this little gem from an Ad Age article five years ago:

“Ten years ago you looked at Nielsen numbers and then day-after recall,” said Kate Sirkin, exec VP-global research director, Starcom Mediavest Group. But now it’s about more than just eyeballs. “You can look at online buzz, online traffic, people talking about your brand and searching online.”

$4 million for some “buzz”??

Sure, Super Bowl ads are entertaining.  Who doesn’t remember the epic, breakthrough Apple “1984″ advertisement for the Macintosh that only ran once.  This year’s crop will feature things like a Kia ad for the Sorento SX Limited crossover SUV shows toddlers and baby animals rocketing to Earth from outer space.

So who is making money from Super Bowl ads?  The TV network running the game.  Sport Business Daily said that over the last 10 years, the Super Bowl has generated $1.72B of network TV ad sales from more than 125 marketers, according to data from research firm Kantar Media. From’02-11, A-B InBev, PepsiCo, GM, Disney and Coca-Cola were the top five advertisers and accounted for 37% of all Super Bowl advertising during that time frame. The average rate for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl has increased by 40% during the past decade, reaching around $3.1M last year on Fox and closer to $3.5M this year on NBC. Listed below is a trend for the average cost of a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl, along with total ad spend for the game (compliments of Kantar Media).














































Beyond CBS, the other big winners will be (per 24/7 Wall Street.com)

The Superdome:  As of Tuesday 1/22, the lowest priced ticket on the Ticketmaster website was $2,387, and the highest priced ticket was $13,120. Stubhub listed tickets starting at $2,119 per ticket. Regular football game seating at the Superdome accommodates about 69,700. Even just at the base price, and averaging the lowest ticket prices seen, this comes to $2,253 for an average entry-level ticket. If all 69,700 seats averaged this, the tally comes to just over $157 million.  However, remember that The Superdome has undergone $336 million in renovations since Katrina, followed closely by $300 million in improvements to Louis Armstrong International Airport.

Chicken wing sellers:  According to the National Chicken Council, Americans will eat some 1.23 billion chicken wings over Super Bowl weekend. This is projected to be down about 1% from a year ago, but the drop is due to prices impacting production rather than demand. Wholesale wings are currently at about $2.11 a pound (in the Northeast), up 26 cents or 14% from a year earlier.

Pizza companies:  the Super Bowl is by far the busiest day of the year for pizza sales.  Figures from 2012 showed an expected 4 million pizzas being sold by restaurants alone. That is not counting the frozen pizzas from grocery stores nor the diehards who make their own pizzas from scratch. Statistic Brain said that Pizza Hut sold 2 million pizzas during the Super Bowl in 2012. Domino’s delivery drivers are expected to log about 4 million miles on Super Bowl Sunday.

Beer/wine/booze in generalSaveonbrew.com had an infographic for the 2013 Super Bowl showing the following: 50 million cases of beer will be consumed, resulting in more than 2 billion gallons of water being needed latter to flush away the beer consumed.  The other downside is that roughly 7 million people will be calling in sick after the Super Bowl because they are hung-over.

The city of New Orleans:  The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau were quoted as saying that the Super Bowl will generate $300 million to $400 million in direct spending. The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation said that the Super Bowl is expected to have a $432 million economic impact on the city.


Not broken out in these cool stats are of course, Yellow Page advertisers, as many of them will benefit from those looking for those wings, pizza’s, liquor stores, etc. etc. etc.  The good news for them is that they aren’t spending $4 million to be “liked” and their print, online, and mobile Yellow Pages advertising programs will continue to be work for them 24/7/365 long after the 49er’s have crushed those pesky Ravens….


News U Can Use – January

These news items are brought to you by Kuk & Baldwin:

THE COOLNESS FACTOR.     It used to be that high school photos would be taken by a photographer who would set up in the gym one day and snap away as class members filed in one by one.   Typically, the price for a complete “package” would top out at $60 or $70.   But that’s no longer cool.   More and more moms are now making private appointments with the local hip photographer to have model-like photos of their teenagers, and they’re willing to pay the price – for example, in Austin, Texas, $699 for the basic pose and $1199 for the complete package.   The key, according to one parent, is about making the portrait show some individuality, with professional light and shadow, etc. (USA Today, 11/12/12).

GOT MOLD?     Nationwide, mold-Inspection laws are in a state of flux – e.g., Arkansas and Virginia both passed mold-inspection laws and then repealed them; and only Florida and Texas have licensing laws for mold inspectors.   But household mold poses a health threat everywhere, and mortgage lenders frequently require a mold inspection.   That’s why CIE certification (certified indoor environmentalist) is a key credential for many contractors.   The author of the source article achieved CIE certification, enabling him to command $300 to $600 per inspection – and he noted his “yellow-page ads were very effective, accounting for about 75% of my sales for the first two years” (Journal of Light Construction, 11/12).

LAWYER STATS.     In 2011, over 44,000 US law students graduated from ABA-accredited law schools, and nine months later only about half had found jobs in the legal field.   Indeed, in 2010 the US Bureau of Labor Statistics had forecast some 74,000 new lawyer jobs from 2010 to 2020 – but only three years into that decade, some 133,000 new lawyers have hit the job market, and by 2020 there will be 300,000 additional grads.   As we’ve said before in this publication, a great many of these new lawyers will be forced to hang out their own shingle, some out of home offices – and if you can identify them, you need to let them know how important it is for them to be well represented in the YP (Wall St. Journal, 11/9/12).

Find out how to be at the top of your sales performance by clicking on www.kukbaldwin.com.

Recent media/advertising news of note:

What the “fiscal cliff” deal really means for small-business owners
After weeks of speculation and on/off discussions, Congress finally got a deal done.  Now most small-business owners are expecting to see their taxes to rise. “The fiscal cliff deal will make me spend more time working in the business rather than on the business,” commented Bill Westrom, who owns a financial-consulting firm with just five employees. (Source).  The topic is covered in YP Talk in part one of our two-part series about what 2013 holds for SMB’s (Link).

Super Bowl ad slots almost sold out

But then again times can’t really be that bad can they? USA Today is reporting that CBS, which will air this year’s Super Bowl game has just two 30-second Super Bowl ad slots left to sell (and they are probably taken by now) at their record rates of at least $3.8 million for a 30-second slot. Viewers should look for new advertisers, more social media tie-ins, and longer ads at this upcoming 2013 Super Bowl.  <Source>

Internet Advertising Revenues Hit Historic High in Q3 2012

Even in a weak economy, advertisers are pointing more of their advertising dollars towards the Internet.   According to the latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report figures released by IAB and PwC US, Internet advertising revenues in the U.S. reached $9.26 billion for the third quarter of 2012, making it the largest quarter on record with an 18% increase year-over-year, in comparison to Q3 2011’s $7.8 billion. In addition, they mark a 6% increase over the Q2 2012 figures of $8.72 billion. <Source>

Billboards doing well in Time Square in New York

Never mind that the One Times Square building which hosts the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop has almost no tenants,  it still earns more than $23 million a year in ad revenue. How?  Companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Sony and News Corp. are among the brands that spend millions each year digital billboard advertising to reach people milling around in Times Square.  Even during non-New Year’s days, it’s a very busy place with lots of potential eyeballs.  With digital boards, some of big dollar success comes from being able to change and turnaround new messages faster and with lots of moving graphics. (Source)

Mobile-ad spending continues to grow
There has been no shortage of reports of significant increases in mobile-ads.  According to an eMarketer analysis, the U.S. leads the way with search and display spending up 220% in 2012. Globally, mobile-ad spending reached $8.41 billion, compared with slightly more than $4 billion in 2011. (Source)

ZenithOptimedia has also estimated that traditional media ad spending will be flat in 2013, mobile is still likely to see strong growth.  Factors working in mobile’s favor are its low cost and high levels of consumer engagement, both of which are appealing to advertisers with tight budgets.  (Source)

The increasing expenditures in mobile are also being channeled towards social media mobile sites.  For example, some brands are now putting 20% of their Facebook ad spending into mobile campaigns, up from 14% in October, according to a Kenshoo study.. (Source)

A Tablet Christmas Day
What did you get for Christmas?  Chances are it was a new tablet.  On Christmas Day there were 17.4 million tablet device activations, more than doubling the number of devices from a year before, according to mobile ad/analytics firm Flurry. Tablets also saw more activations than smartphones this year, the firm reports. In other measures, non-Apple tablets gained in popularity on the iPad, and while Christmas Day saw a record number of application downloads.  How many yellow page apps do you think were downloaded?? (Source)

Still haven’t picked out your tablet?  Looking for something to bridge the gap between laptop and smartphone? Here is a review of ten top-rated tablets. (Source)

Twitter Growing in Scope and Usage
Twitter has become the hot social media these days and there has been no shortage of news.  First, if you are little behind about this new media, you can start with a list of “Golden Tweets” that generated the greatest number of “retweets” in 2012. At the top of the heap was President Barack Obama’s “Four more years” tweet, celebrating his victory in the U.S. election. Other much-shared tweets included Justin Bieber’s tribute to a deceased fan; the U.K. Olympic team celebrating its successes; and a Japanese voice actor announcing his engagement to a fellow star. (Source)

Did you also know that over three-quarters of world leaders now use Twitter?  That is an increase of 78% from 2011, according to a Digital Policy Council report. President Barack Obama remains the social network’s top political leader, with 24.6 million followers, followed by Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, who has 3.8 million followers.  Of course, it’s not really Barack banging away on the keys, but I think you get the concept – Twittering isn’t just for the common folks looking for their 15 milliseconds of fame. (Source)

However, sometimes those tweets can get in you trouble.  Take Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.  He was recently fined $50,000 by the NBA after posting a tweet criticizing the league’s referees. Cuban’s tweet, posted after the Mavs were defeated by the New Orleans Hornets, said he has “failed miserably” at getting the league to fix referee-related issues (Source)

Digital revenues still not there for traditional publishers yet
While all of this twittering, mobile advertising, and social media growth is going on, “traditional publishers” (talking creative media here, not yellow pages) still aren’t offsetting losses from declining print and broadcast advertising with digital advertising.  Web ads are accounting for just a small percent of radio and newspaper groups’ total revenues. Publishers still believe  digital has plenty of promise, “but as 2012 draws to an end, it’s clear that this promise is still more theoretical than real,” writes Erik Sass. (Source)









Is advertising in the Super Bowl really worth it??

One of the questions I have been asking for years is whether advertising at the Super Bowl is really worth it.  There is no doubt that this annual event, almost a holiday onto itself now, has a huge viewing audience. The commercials that run during the game have almost become an event onto themselves, and have occasionally been more entertaining than the game itself.  For days after, they are analyzed, rated, and commented on year after year after year.  But does that mean that spending over $3,500,000 on average for 30 seconds really results in more sales?

The raw viewing numbers are huge.  For this year’s event, NBC (Nielsen actually) estimated an average of 111.3 million total viewers tuned in to watch the underdog New York Giants hold off the New England Patriots 21-17 in a seesaw game that went down to the final moments.  Another calculation was that an estimated that 177 million viewers, or more than 56% of the current U.S. population, watched at least six minutes of the game. For comparison, that “reach” was  comparable to an entire cycle of the Olympics, spread over two weeks of days/nights.

However, even with those numbers, is it really worth it?  When you consider that over 300 million people live in America, that means just 35% of the country tuned into the game (and the commercials).  And if you were at a Super Bowl party, how many of the people there really watched the game or the commercials closely?

In past Super Bowls, one of my criticisms of the advertising was I saw little connection made between spending those millions and actual sales generated.  You will find very little solid evidence that companies actually measure sales as a result of the advertising.  Instead, they will talk about eyeballs, reach, CPM’s, and all kinds of things that marketing people and ad agencies will use to justify spending the money.  You should also note that the $3.5 million cost of the ad this year does NOT include the production costs to make it.

For example, the online website registration company of “Go Daddy” has become well known for their solicitous, high sexual in nature ads.  Here is the best “results” I could find about how well their ads translated into actual sales (I added the underlining to key comments):

“…Go Daddy says that Go Daddy’s “Body Paint” ad accounted for a tremendous Internet spike during the game that coincides with a peak point in Web traffic, as reported by Akamai Technologies, a company that monitored Internet usage during the Super Bowl. Go Daddy did not reveal though how big of a spike we are talking about...”

Notice they do not say how many actual sales results from their ads.

The good news for marketers is that with the advent of newer technologies such as mobile text marketing and Twitter, companies can now get some immediate indication of the impact these ads had.  For example, this year on an ad shown during the game, the National Football League asked contest participants to text a message to register for a $1 million contest running next season. The “NFL Perfect Challenge” contest drew 1.7 million text-message responses. The NFL says the “…conversion rate was higher than the industry average….” (Source).  Once again, I see words like “conversion rate”, but not the words “sales”.  I was one of the 1.7 million that did join the contest.  I got one text message back from the NFL but haven’t heard a thing since then.

The other quick response darling, Twitter, said they hit a peak of 12K tweets per second during Super Bowl (Source).   Two questions from that factoid:  1) did any sales result from all of those tweets?, and 2) does anyone ever just talk to anyone any more (or is my age just showing)??

So next time you are with a potential Yellow Page advertiser (as in print, online, or mobile) ask them whether they would love to advertise at the Super Bowl (assuming that money was not an issue).  When they start foaming at the mouth, take them thru a reality ROI calculation vs. your product and help them come back to earth.  Because at ROI’s of AT LEAST 10-to-1, nothing beats Yellow Pages (again talking print, online, or mobile).  Not even the Super Bowl…