I get it. I really do. The idea of having your brand/message viewed by one-hundred million plus people simultaneously is intoxicating. Visions of your market share getting more juiced than Lance Armstrong pre Tour dance in your head. And honestly, who doesn’t want to be at a party, point to something on TV and say, “I did that.” But here are a few off-the-cuff reasons you shouldn’t do any more Super Bowl advertising IMHO:
1) You’re more than likely not going to make an ad people absolutely love let alone talk about for generations. Imagine if Paramount, Columbia, Universal, Sony, etc. all tried to make blockbuster, Academy Award winning movies all to be released on say, July 4th every year. Wait, they do do that and with all their resources from Spielberg to De Niro most of those movies aren’t blockbusters or Academy winners. There’s only one Citizen Kane and there’s only one Apple 1984 ad.
2) The cost. OMG the cost. And I’m not just talking the media buy or the production dollars. A Super Bowl spot is probably the most obsessed-over, time-sucking, double-guessing endeavour one can undertake in advertising. Thousands of hours (in your building and your agency’s) are consumed by this beast that could be doled out to dozens of other projects.
3) Those dozen of other projects give you dozens of chances to be great and win. You might even spend less money.
4) Super Bowl ads were the best bet from a time when TV was the best game in town. Those days are long gone. Most of your consumers will have the internet in their hand or pocket during the game. In fact, they have that internet with them 24/7/365. Use it. It’s cheap and very effective. But then you know that. You just seem to forget once a year.
5) Conversations with you are better than conversations about you. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, etc. are your friends.
Of course, there are strong arguments to be made for running a Super Bowl spot: earned media, prestige, 100 million plus viewers, etc. But in today’s media and consumer landscape, these reasons aren’t nearly as strong or cost effective as they used to be.
All that said, the Iron Man 3 spot pushing to Facebook was brilliant. A $3.8 million 30 second spot (really only needed to be :15 at half the cost) drove people to watch a free 1:30 spot online. That was followed up by a Facebook sponsored story that as of this posting was shared more than 46,000 times, liked 61,000 times and commented on 5,100 times effectively leveraging the Super Bowl spot into millions of cheap, targeted additional impressions. Then again, everyone wants to see Iron Man 3. Good luck beating that with your shrinking ad budget.
PS Then there’s Oreo with an on-the-fly tweet that was free and retweeted over 14,000 times. Twitter is always faster and cheaper than TV. (http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/how-oreo-got-that-twitter-ad-up-so-fast)