The Buzz around Super Bowl Ads

Written by: Mary Kate Celini

Team Football or Team Commercial?

There are two types of people at Super Bowl Parties—the football fanatics and the commercial-focused. Regardless of what team you were rooting for, there were 103.4 million people glued to their television for Super Bowl LII in 2018. A 30-second commercial slot for the Super Bowl will run you $5 million, with an average production cost of $5 million. With the increasing price and competitive nature of the commercial game, it’s comes to no surprise that these commercials are being stretched off the TV screen and into targeted digital media and PR campaigns. It used to be that the commercial would premiere for the first time during the game, then be reported on the days following the games, and that was it. But now we see commercial teasers and sneak peaks like Jeff Bridges’s and the star-studded Pepsi ad being released several weeks before kick-off.

The commercial sneak peaks in our newsfeeds and articles on different Super Bowl controversies, like the medical marijuana commercial controversy, are done purposefully. As Jeffery Dorfman noted, “These days, most companies that buy Super Bowl ads also carefully arrange a matching digital media campaign that can draw millions of additional viewers.” By getting the commercial off the TV and into your newsfeed, companies are locking in the chance for increased viewership, engagement, and brand affinity.

And companies are getting more creative than just slapping a hashtag at the end of the commercial. The hashtag may still be present, but it is being used in conjunction with commercial teasers and for engaging with viewers before, during, and after the game. Joel Kaplan explained the recent trend of Super Bowl commercials and the coordinated digital media campaigns: “Today’s big brands place less weight on viral hashtags and engagement numbers as proof of ROI…the most powerful social moments are ones where our brands have a unique take on them, not ones that are just general commentary.” Instead of posting or tweeting just for the sake of doing so, taking a thoughtful approach to media planning can make result in a controlled tone and worthwhile metrics.

The Super Bowl consistently has the highest television ratings in America, which essentially confirms that there will be high ROI when the ad costs costs roughly 4 cents per viewer. But these companies like Budweiser, Olay, and Pepsi are ensuring higher ROI and conversion rates by pairing the commercial with a social media plan and media coverage. Pregame creative and discussion is used to strategically create excitement and curiosity to ensure there are people watching for the commercials. On the other hand, the goal for postgame media strategy is to make the idea resonate and stay with people until they find themselves choosing your brand over the competition. When media outlets are compiling lists of the best and worst Super Bowl Commercials, people are still talking about what commercials they are still laughing at. Developing a social media and public relations strategy for before, during, and after the game makes sure people are watching and thinking about your product long after the final quarter.

Take a page from their playbook

Everyone doesn’t have access to at least $5 million to purchase Super Bowl airtime, but we all can take a page from the playbook of Super Bowl commercials. By combining our initial marketing event with a digital media campaign, we are able to increase engagements, impressions, clicks, and more. If we are already investing in the initial campaign whether it’s a commercial or social media series, make sure that it is as successful as possible by pairing it with Instagram Ads or daily tweets. We can increase ROI of traditional and digital marketing efforts by supporting them with the right combination of social media and public relations tactics.

Interested in finding out more about how Slice can help out with your social media? Check out our social media information page here.