2 Surprises in Super Bowl 52 Ads
It seems the death of Super Bowl ads has been greatly exaggerated. With NBC expecting $1.4 billion in ad income from the commercials accompanying the big game and the Winter Olympics, the nearly sold-out Super Bowl ad slots reveal a couple more surprises for marketers.
Many Super Bowl 52 Ads Will Go Long
Marketers have been talking about six-second ads and the $5 million price tag for the more standard 30-second spots. But this Business Insider headline says a lot: “There's Going to Be a Record Number of Long Ads at This Super Bowl — and It's in Stark Contrast With Where Advertising Is Headed.”
The Jan. 11 article by Tanya Dua reads:
"You will see more longer-form, longer than 30 seconds, than you have in any other Super Bowl," Dan Lovinger, executive VP of advertising sales at NBC Universal Sports Group, said during a press call on Thursday. "Advertisers look at this as the ultimate platform to tell a story and storytelling takes a little bit of time."
During my trip to Germany to visit Mercedes last year, brand leaders said the same of their Super Bowl commercial directed by the Coen brothers and starring Peter Fonda — they were telling a story that helped consumers emotionally connect with the brand.
Yes, Marketers Know Ratings Are Low
Last night, conservatives were tweeting about the NFL players protest during the national anthem, saying they were boycotting the game, and its sponsors and advertisers. (One tweet mentioned favoring Papa John’s for its owner’s complaint about the protests.)
Fox Business reports on Jan. 11:
Advertiser demand for this year’s game appears strong even as the NFL contends with an unprecedented television audience drain. NFL ratings dropped 9.7 percent to roughly 14.9 million viewers per contest during the 2017 season — an even steeper decline than the year before, when ratings fell 8 percent, according to Nielsen.
Still, the Super Bowl commands an unmatched audience each year and remains the most-watched broadcast annually. Every game since 2010 has drawn at least 106 million viewers.
Adweek notes on Jan. 12 that marketers may be ensuring they keep eyeballs on game day by not revealing their ads until they play there:
Last year, brands started announcing their Super Bowl plans as early as December and rolled out teasers as early as Jan. 3. This year, a small handful of brands announced their Big Game plans, but only two have released teasers so far (as of Jan. 12).
Havas Media SVP of strategic investments, Jeff Gagne, agreed. “In this era of ever-shortening attention spans, a danger lingers that your message might start to erode as others gain steam around the momentum of the game itself,” Gagne said. “It’s all a bit of a calculated gamble, and every advertiser has different goals to consider when weighing timing.”
At least one fan had a helpful suggestion for creative:
— carmen (@eagles1229) January 14, 2018
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: NFL, Verizon Deal Brings Super Bowl Ads to All Devices