Super Bowl spots are worth their weight

As excitement builds in advance of the 6 Nations kick-off tomorrow, across the Atlantic the U.S. is gearing up for Super Bowl 51 on Sunday night. Fox will broadcast this year’s game which sees the New England Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons.

The Super Bowl is consistently the most watched programme in the U.S. with over 111 million viewers tuning in to last year’s game. With a standard 30 second advertising spot costing $5,000,000 we were curious to understand how the ad value stacks ups.

From a pure media buying perspective, a Super Bowl advertiser is paying €42 for every 000 people reached. In TV terms that’s a hefty premium to pay however undoubtedly the return an advertiser generates ‘beyond the spot’ in terms of social chatter is enormous.

The closest equivalent to the Super Bowl in Ireland is of course The Late Late Toy Show which last year attracted over 1.5 million people at its peak, over a third of the country. An advertiser could have expected to pay €32,000 per 30 second spot which based on the average viewership during the breaks would have equated to a €25 cost per 000 reached.

Superbowl vs Toy Show

So does the ad value stack up?

From a media cost perspective, no. In broad terms an advertiser might expect to pay a €7.50 CPT to run a TV campaign on RTÉ in December. That makes a Toy Show spot over 300% more expensive versus the going rate and The Super Bowl 6 times dearer.

This is a hefty premium you might think but what the analysis does not take into account is what we have already mentioned as the return generated ‘beyond the spot’. In last year’s Super Bowl, insurance broker Esurance ran a spot encouraging people to tweet #Esurancesweepstakes for the chance to win $1 million. It generated a whopping 9,000 tweets per minute immediately after it aired, a phenomenal demonstration of the pulling-power live television still holds.

While linear viewing has declined in recent years the Super Bowl and Toy Show have seen their audiences go from strength to strength. Broadcasters and advertisers alike continue to seek opportunities to innovate and engage around these incredible events. Whilst key appointment to view programmes come at a premium they offer a unique opportunity for brands to enter into dialogue with an entire nation. Can we put a price on that?

Mark Delany