BBQ Wings, friends and family, best players competing, best artists singing and the ads make it only better… Each February the world concentrates on one of the biggest sporting events in the USA: the championship game of the National Football League. The game is world famous with its traditional name: “Super Bowl” and draws attention from London to Beijing. For the sporting world it is a 60 minute raw competition that might result in glory or dismay, whereas it is one of the most exciting times for advertisers because everybody is already looking at the TV Screen. Data supports this too: almost 8 out of 10 adults in the USA tune in to an online or offline channel to follow the Super Bowl. That makes more than 250 million people!
On 12th of February 2023, Kansas City Chiefs carved the perfect championship story by edging out Philadelphia Eagles with the magnificent leadership of their superstar Patrick Mahomes, who led the comeback with an apparent leg injury. It was a game to be watched, also because Rihanna shone at the halftime combing back on stage after giving birth. It was the perfect combo for the Third Most Watched Telecast in the US and Nielsen estimates that 113.06 million viewers watched the Super Bowl XLVII.
Without any doubt, all those characteristics make it the greatest scene to strive for advertisers both on TV and also on digital platforms. Despite an approximate per second cost of 250 thousand dollars, the reach of a Super Bowl commercial is huge. A survey conducted by Adtaxi in 2021 showed that 43 percent of the TV viewers do only want to watch the TV commercials. In addition, regardless of their focus on the TV screen, more than half of the participants engage in second screen activity for the Super Bowl such as viewing the real-time stats or tweeting. Including pre-game and post-game periods, there are around 50 minutes of commercial time during a Super Bowl night, and with the second screen activity the impact of a championship game is remarkable. Marketers can connect with consumers in numerous ways. More surprisingly, it can be measured too - and so does Medialyzer’s TV Attribution.
Let’s dive deeper into the night of Super Bowl XLVII and check out what we have extracted from the stories and data for the advertising industry:
Celebrities and nostalgia can keep you upfront
A story that recaptures our sweet times from the past seems like a perfect image to paint for the last Sunday Night Football. Because people do follow the biggest sporting events with friends and family, it’s more like a cultural and traditional way of being together and remembering good old days with a sweet smile. Therefore, creatives involving memories like the ones from Breaking Bad, and stories that we can form an emotional bond with like the story of Amazon’s Sawyer perform better.
One successful way to achieve that is to invite celebrities, the faces that we know and trust. In fact, evidence supports people’s expectations: in the period between 2020-2022 creatives with a celeb outperformed the ones without by 25%. This must have been recognized by the marketers too. Despite endorsing no celebrity in 2015, eight of the top 10 spots in 2022 involved a world wide established name.
Second screen activity?Yes, please!
Who does solely watch the game on TV for almost two hours today? A few seconds of thinking will guide us to smartphones or tablets - just like your last gaze on notifications a couple of minutes ago-. Consequently, it is not only that the best spots compete on TV screen, digital activity during the Super Bowl does matter a lot!
Professor Charles Taylor of Forbes calculated the list of top 5 performing ads on Super Bowl night. Taylor combined metrics about online and offline activity: USA Today’s Admeter’s likeability ratings, the ADPLAN ratings of the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business MBAs, ratings of the Advertising Ages and measure of most mentioned brands on Twitter of Sprout Social.
Thus, the best performing commercial was a shared effort between General Motors and Netflix, as Will Ferrell showed up in the Netflix universe -from Squid Games to Stranger Things- by driving in the newest GMs. The effect? It was astonishing! On the partnership day, the stock price of GM rose by 5%. Not only that, the search activity of the newest models boosted by 50% on Cars.com in between the 8 minutes before and after the ad aired. And Medialyzer’s TV Tracking could increase your online penetration in real time just after the ad appears.
Ultimately, the Super Bowl mixed the best together: the athletes, the artists and the advertisements - just like UEFA Champions League or FIFA World Cup Finals. Sports means togetherness, in front of a TV screen with family and friends, and it connects us with the world through our second screen, literally and emotionally. It’s a great chance for advertisers to dedicate efforts, but they could only ‘shine bright like a diamond’ if they become a champion of the data.