The Super Bowl is known for two things: championship football and creative television commercials. Well, creative and expensive television commercials.
Expensive isn’t just referring to the production value of creating the ads (which can be massive considering the cost of celebrity endorsements), but also how much each ad costs the advertiser to appear on TV during the game.
Why so expensive? Since 2000, the Super Bowl has averaged 96 million viewers a year. On Sunday, February 1, 2015, 114 million people watched the game. It was the most watched televison program in U.S. history. This one Sunday night is one of the few times a televised event crosses all demographics, which is why it has such high viewership.
The fact that so many people watch the same thing at one time, makes those three hours highly valuable. This year, NBC charged $4.5 million for a 30 second spot.
The price is why commercials are so elaborate. If advertisers are going to spend that much to make sure an ad is seen, they also want to make sure it’s going to be memorable. And thanks to the power of the internet, a lot of these ads are released early or teased online to create buzz and awareness for the campaign before it even airs.
So what commercials won this year?
Budweiser’s lost puppy dog TV spot got a lot of positive feedback, because it focused on an adorable puppy and heroic Clydesdales horses.
Turbo Tax had a fun commercial that played on an alternative retelling of the American Revolution.
The most discussed commercial from the night (for better or for worse) was Nationwide’s “Make Safe Happen.” In the ad, a small boy described the activities he will never do - and it is revealed he can’t do them, because he died due to a household accident. Nationwide actually released a statement after the commercial aired defending the ad and its message.
Of course, local businesses can’t compete with the Pepsi’s and Microsoft’s of the world who advertise during the game. However, being aware of the tones and themes that these commercials convey, local businesses can help them prepare campaigns for their own local marketing.
These expensive national campaigns can teach small business owners that a clever message and sound advertising strategy can lead to public conversation about any product.
What did you think about the ads? What was your favorite and least favorite commercial? What worked for you as a consumer? How can you “Newsjack” the Super Bowl and its commercials? Is there a similar message your business could convey?
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.