Posts Tagged ‘#superbowl’

I Don’t Always Watch the Super Bowl…But When I do It’s for the Commercials

February 6, 2014

When I was a kid, I would sneak into my parents closet several times in the weeks leading up to Christmas and find my presents. I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth (sorry, Mom). Even though it was such a thrill to tip-toe around when I thought no one was paying attention, knowing what my gifts were ahead of time made Christmas morning anti-climactic. In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, I had been reacquainted with that old, familiar feeling.  This year, the eager American public was absolutely inundated with “leaked” Super Bowl ads online – eliminating any element of surprise when it came time for the beloved commercial breaks.

While it is has historically been a tradition for some of the best ads to be released for a “sneak peak” before the game, it seems to me that every year, more ads are released weeks before the big game. I’ll be the first person to admit it, I am not a huge football fan. However, I am one of the many people that (regardless of which teams are competing) will tune in to watch the commercials—I do work in advertising after all.

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 The volume of leaked ads has me wondering about the future of Super Bowl advertising. Super Bowl ads are without a doubt, regarded amongst advertisers as the most coveted advertising real estate there is. This year’s game was the most watched television event in U.S. history drawing in 111.5 million viewers last Sunday night. According to The Washington Post, a 30 second ad cost a record breaking $4 million, or $133,000 per second.  So, with ads leaking prior to the Super Bowl I have a major concern: Each ad that is exposed ahead of time reduces the amount of viewers who tune in just to see the ads.  By doing this, viewership can dramatically drop and real estate for advertisments can depreciate.

One company that is embracing the trend of leaked ads is Google. CBS MoneyWatch stated that “while Google isn’t disclosing how much money it’s earning from Super Bowl commercial pre-game buzz, the company is stoked enough by the number of related searches and video streams…”. One of the biggest beneficiaries is Google’s subsidiary company YouTube, being that practically every pre-released ad is almost immediately posted on the video sharing website.

With the overwhelming takeover of social media in recent years, the reoccurring trend of Super Bowl ads caused me to ask this question: Will a time come when 30 second pre-roll ads (commercials that play before an online video loads) are just as sought-after as a 30 second TV ad? If Google and YouTube have anything to do with it, the answer would be “yes.” It may seem like a stretch, but when thinking about how much social media has changed the way marketers reach their audiences, the concept does not seem too out of reach.

Although viewership of the actual game was up, ratings for the game were down from last year. According to Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Journal, “FOX’s coverage generated an overnight rating of 47.6 for the Seahawks-Broncos game.  That’s down a hair from last year’s 48.1, during the Ravens-49ers contest in Super Bowl XLVII.”

While the drop has not been proven to be directly linked to the early release of so many ads, advertisers may want to be wary about leaking their ads too soon as a way to gain viral buzz. The last thing major companies would want is to spend an incredible amount of money and have it completely fall through on the day of the Super Bowl. Hey, I guess advertising wouldn’t be the only thing to fall through during the big game right? Too soon, Broncos fans?


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