Super Bowl Advertisers turning to Digital Media

Are you ready for some football!? Super Bowl XLVIII is rapidly approaching – with advertising to prove it!

As we are well in our way into 2014, the annual NFL Super Bowl championship is one of the most exciting days of television each year – not only for the fans of the competing teams, but all football fans rooting on the sport itself in the biggest game of the year.

An estimated 108 million viewers tune in to see the big game, and with that comes the strategically planned advertisements from brands who can pay the big bucks for their :15 and :30 timeslots.

This year’s Super Bowl may not take place until February, but already we are starting to see ads running earlier than ever, and turning to digital in particular. Friday, YouTube launched its first pregame gallery that includes seven teaser commercials for some high-profile clients including Doritos, Pepsi, Squarespace and others.

Advertisers are clearly trying to cash in on the power of YouTube and other digital alternatives. According to The Verge, last year users watched YouTube ads for the Super Bowl more than 80 million times ahead of the game, with 256 million views total (more than the estimated viewers on gameday!).

This strategy aims to create extra hype for their particular commercial on gameday since the estimated price tag for a :30 commercial slot is $3 million. Advertisers want to get the most bang for their buck for that prime real estate.

Brands are continually utilizing the power of digital to create unique user experiences and drive engagement to be part of their multi million dollar event. Examples include:

    • Doritos: One of my favorites in regards to brand engagement is Doritos, they stay tried and true creating 7 years in a row letting people vote on one of the commercialsthat will air during the big game.
    • Coca-Cola: This year has decided to let the audience choose the ending to the commercial.

  • Audi: Taking a combined approach, will post a commercial at midnight Thursday on its YouTube Page where users can also vote on 3 different endings.
  • Pepsi: First to market with a crowd sourced half-time intro where people can submit photos via twitter using the hashtag #PepsiHalftime.

Every year, from the casual fans to the die-hard variety, viewers look forward to Super Bowl ads.  Some ads evoke the LOL moments, others will gain lots of press and then there are the ads that people want to talk about even days after the big game. Advertisers have 30 seconds to reach over 100M viewers at one single time, but how would this translate if advertisers were to spend their Super Bowl budgets on digital media? In the following article, What a $4 Mil. Super Bowl Ad Could Buy in Digital, the article takes a look at how far a $4M budget would go in the digital world.  Interesting to take a look at, for example, a $2 CPC (cost per click) search campaign would get you 2M clicks to your landing page or over 100M video impressions on Hulu. Super Bowl ads will allow advertisers to reach millions of viewers, but using a digital media strategy could be just as effective over time in their reach.

We will all just have to wait and see the outcome on gameday as fans everywhere enjoy an American pastime. Nonetheless, there is no denying that more and more advertisers are turning to digital advertising to compliment.

Stefanie Feilinger
Just Media, Inc.

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