Jane is a retail and small business writer with a special
interest in emerging companies and entrepreneurs. She covered the
financial services industry before moving into general business
journalism and has written for The Age and The Australian Financial
Almost as famous as the event itself, the half-time television ads aired to 111 million viewers of the Super Bowl in the United States have been released for public consumption.
The San Francisco 49ers will battle it out with the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, February 3. But for many of the advertisers, their campaigns began months ago.
Advertising during the prime spot costs an average of $3.8 million – in some cases more – for a 30-second time slot. However Brad Adgate from Horizon Media told US news show The Daily Ticker the opportunity to advertise is too good to miss, irrespective of the cost. Of the 111 million viewers, 47 per cent are female and 50 per cent are under the age of 18 – premium targets in adland.
“Not only do you get to be seen by than 100 million viewers at home, but there’s a social media and online component that helps pay for the huge amount of dollars that are being thrown at advertising during the big game,” Adgate says.
Some companies are using social media and gamification in their campaigns to create extra buzz. Coca-Cola’s campaign features cowboys, tough guys and showgirls stranded in a desert racing towards a Coke oasis. Through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr users can choose which group will get there first. The first 50,000 voters will receive a free Coke.
Other companies that have experienced recent crises, such as Best Buy, will also advertise, raising the question of whether a SuperBowl ad has the power to turn around a company’s fortune. In brokerage firm E*Trade’s case, it was. It experienced a 32 per cent increase in new clients a week after its 2008 Super Bowl ad aired. In the year prior its stock had dropped 80 per cent.