As millions of people plan to watch the Super Bowl 2015 this Sunday, a handful of companies have anxiously lined up to spend upwards of $4 million for every 30 seconds they advertise during the televised game. These advertisers have different goals with their ads. Some want to make a statement, others are chasing brand recognition, but most all are hoping to sell products.
Whatever the reason, the costs are real. At these prices a one-minute commercial during Super Bowl 2015 may top $8 million, and some companies plan to run more than one ad.
But are they accomplishing their goals?
According to some recent studies, reported on January 29, 2015, on National Public Radio (NPR), it actually might be far more effective for these firms to take their millions of dollars and run multiple ads during regular – and far less expensive – television times.
NPR reports that these companies do get buzz and brand recognition when the ad is first shown. But when people were asked days or weeks after the game if they remembered those ads, they often remembered the characters, the story, etc., but not who sponsored it. Certainly not what the advertiser had in mind.
As to getting more bang for their buck by sponsoring ads in less costly time slots, a study of 206 brands in England that advertised during the Summer Games in London in 2012 found that for the most part these companies could have done far better – especially when it comes to sales – if they had selected less costly advertising time slots.
So why is this? After all, when it comes to the Super Bowl many people are anticipating the ads made specifically for the game. What could diminish their effectiveness?
Well, according to one research company in Germany that has analyzed the Super Bowl advertising phenomenon, it’s the eating while watching the ads that lessens their impact. The German researchers referred to this as “oral interference.” They even found that the more people eat and the longer they chew, the less they pay attention to the ads or remember them.
Bottom line: If the goal is to make a statement, as was the case with the now-famous 1984 Super Bowl commercial that introduced the Macintosh, then advertising during the game may pay off. However, if the goal is simply to sell products, those millions of dollars can likely find a more effective home.