Media Buying and Inbound Marketing Blog

Is Super Bowl Advertising Part of Your Advertising Strategy?

By Jane Peters on January 12, 2013 |

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Media buyers and companies considering Super Bowl ads as part of their media strategy are out media buyer, inbound marketingof luck.  CBS announced this week that it had sold all the ads for Super Bowl XLVII that will air February 3, from New Orleans.

Every year, the Super Bowl advertising lineup of the usual suspects like Anheuser-Busch InBev, Coca-Cola, GoDaddy and PepsiCo.

This year a new advertiser is stepping up to play with the big timers.  The Milk Processor Education Program, MilkPEP, which is funded by dairy makers, has purchased a 30 second spot to air in the 2nd quarter of the Super Bowl game.

Competing with ads for soda and beer, The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, will star in the spots.  It is a look at how far a father will go to make sure his children have milk for their breakfast cereal. The concept has already been running with actress  Salma Hayak arriving home from a fancy night out to find she has no milk for the morning—so, she sets out on a wild goose chase to find some.

You may know MilkPEP from their “Got Milk” campaigns. For years they have added milk mustaches to the upper lips of athletes, actors, musicians and other celebrities.

Until now, MilkPEP’s participation in the annual Super Bowl marketing has consisted of running newspaper ads before or after the game.

The ads feature quarterbacks, or other star players, from one or both of the participating teams; the players sport milk mustaches and promote the benefits of milk.

Declining milk sales have prompted the decision to buy commercial time in the game. However, sales have increased for dairy products like cheese and yogurt.

The MilkPEP commercial will be supplemented by promotions in stores, digital advertising, public relations efforts and a presence in social media. 

Other brands for which Super Bowl XLVII will be the first in which they have advertised are the Axe line of personal-care products, sold by Unilever; Gildan apparel, sold by Gildan Activewear; Lincoln, sold by the Ford Motor Company; MiO, a liquid that adds flavor to water, sold by Kraft Foods; Oreo cookies, sold by Mondelez International; SodaStream International, which sells the SodaStream home soda-making system; and Wonderful pistachios, sold by the Paramount Farms division of Roll Global.

Last February, the Super Bowl set a US TV ratings record for the third year running on Sunday night, with an average of 111.3 million viewers watching the New York Giants' victory over the New England Patriots.

CBS has sold its Super Bowl spots, according to estimates by agency executives, for an average of $3.7 million to $3.8 million for each 30 seconds.

The high price of national Super Bowl ads also applies to commercials on local stations owned by or affiliated with CBS.

On WCBS-TV in New York, owned by CBS, spots have been sold for over $1 million.

The high cost of Super Bowl advertising is not a new story. This year’s price of $3.7 million is a 6% increase from last year and is more than double the rate charged for a 30-second spot 14 years ago.

In the last 14 years, the price of a Super Bowl ad has increased by an average 5.7% annually. At that rate, it would take another 12 years for the price to double to $7 million

Many media buyers suggest that Super Bowl ad costs can easily hit the $7 million mark within the next decade due to two key factors: the networks’ pricing power and a new set of rights agreements that will force networks to widen their revenue streams in the coming years.

What do you think?  Are Super Bowl ads worth the money?

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