I’m sure I’ll write more about this later, but I wanted to start this year’s Stealing Share Super Bowl conversation today. As I look at the list of advertisers this year, it is a familiar one with Budweiser, BMW, Coke, Doritos, McDonalds, and T-Mobile on the list, just to name a few. The cost for a single ad is up about a half million dollars over last year to $4.5 million.
I doubt advertisers could ever show a measurable ROI. But for this expense, agencies will do their best to show raw impressions, social media buzz and reach while using some alien technology to create a number that makes everyone high-five and pat themselves on the back for a job well done.
But I ask you, “Who really cares?”
InBev has purchased at least seven spots, which seems a little excessive. If it had purchased five, would fewer people drink Bud Light? What if it didn’t purchase any? Couldn’t the $30 million it spent have been used for something more persuasive?
And that is the thing. It is really not about persuasion. Consumers will forget most of the ads before they stumble to the TV to turn it off. Loctite, which makes glues, is spending its normal annual ad budget on one ad. Do you buy super glue often enough that you will remember one ad in a four-hour game filled with ads? BMW, Kia, Lexus, Nissan, Mercedes, and Toyota all have purchased ads. Will anyone remember which car company did which ad?
So to the advertising agencies, the network and the NFL, I say congratulations on selling that ad space. To the consumers, enjoy the entertainment. To the brands, I know it makes you feel good to see your ads on the Super Bowl telecast. But if you are trying to persuade consumers with this ad spend, you might as well just flush your money down a different kind of bowl.