What’s your most memorable Super Bowl commercial? Coca-Cola’s Mean Joe Greene from the 1979 Super Bowl? That one was so good Coke has modernized it to promote Coke Zero with player Troy Polamalu. And how about the original E*Trade and Talking Babies (time stamp – from 2007, a game that the Patriots lost). It’s true that most of Gen Z doesn’t watch TV, BUT people still do watch the Super Bowl and the ad sales are huge business.
In terms of money spent, millions of dollars go into each Super Bowl ad, at a cost of up to $7 million for a 30-second spot – the same as last year – and that is before the cost of creating those ads. One spot can cost companies more than $20 million.
These stats come from a recent article in The Conversation, written by Linda Ferrell, Professor of Marketing, and O.C. Ferrell, Professor of Ethics, both at Auburn University. They headlined it:
‘Super Bowl ads: It’s getting harder for commercials to score with consumers’
Notable among the missing advertisers this year are the big four car companies, although Kia and BMW plan to promote their electric vehicles. Food and beverage companies go all out for the Super Bowl and the authors say, “In the end, today’s marketing executives recognize that Super Bowl TV commercials work best when they promote mass market products – through humor, use of animals, nostalgia and celebrities – as well as social causes that resonate with consumers.”
So why do companies spend all this money to attract “eyeballs” at the Super Bowl? The most effective ads can be seen before the game, sometimes as trailers or teasers or as the entire commercial. And folks will be talking about the best ads for days afterwards and pundits will rank them in terms of what really worked. Not to mention the chatter on social media. So ads are important, despite changing cultural norms.
Note to readers: the reason we dip into The conversation so often for the Reading Room is because the content is free to re-post, without charge. The articles are written by academics who have expert knowledge in their fields of study. To show my appreciation I occasionally make a modest donation to The Conversation although it is not required.