Last week was a big week for the major players of Super Bowl XLV. While the Packers and their fans were celebrating and the Steelers and their fans, like me, were not, Super Bowl advertisers were awaiting the results of their megabucks investments. This year’s crop of Super Bowl ads, like most years, was full of hits, misses and controversy. Advertising experts are now busy dissecting the results and argue on winners and losers.
So is it worth it? Some, even those in the advertising industry, argue on the merits of the Super Bowl advertising hype. So, I’m going to add the Newton Manufacturing angle to the debate and compare the effectiveness of a Super Bowl ad and a promotional product.
This analysis will be based on the cost per impression for an average promotional product and a 30-second Super Bowl spot. Three factors will be taken into account - cost of production, cost of distribution and number of impressions. Below is the result and below that is the explanation of the numbers with some analysis sprinkled in.
Production - Using data from a 2010 Advertising Specialties Institute (ASI) study*, the average promotional product costs $12 each, which includes factory set up fees and shipping. For a 30-second Super Bowl spot, hard numbers on how much advertisers spent weren’t available. A little bit of searching found that a 30-second spot can be produced for $250,000-$400,000. Considering high quality production, special effects, featured celebrities and an above average amount of testing, the cost for a 30-second Super Bowl ad was estimated to be $1 million.
Distribution - For promotional products, distribution included the cost of shipping to the recipient or the labor cost involved in handing out the item which was estimated at $4.00. This year, it was reported that a 30-second Super Bowl ad cost around $3 million.
Impressions - For promotional products, data from the ASI study was again utilized and estimated that a product generates an average of 2407 impressions. We used the average number of impressions per month per product, 422.2, and multiplied that by the average number of months a product is kept, which is 5.7months.
This year’s Super Bowl had a record television audience of 111 million viewers. Years ago, this would have been it for impressions, but now with online video, a popular Super Bowl ad can generate millions of additional views, so another 2.7 million impressions were added. I was unable to find solid numbers on social media conversations and additional buzz, but do know that it was considered.
By the numbers, promotional products provide a lower cost per impression. Of course, these numbers don’t include purpose or goals of the ads. In any advertising campaign, the medium needs to fit the desired result. If you are looking to make a statement with your brand and generate buzz, the Super Bowl, while expensive, is the ultimate platform. If you are looking for a more personal brand experience, I suggest looking into a relevant promotional product.
Feel free to argue with the numbers. I tried to be as scientific and fair as possible, but I’m not a statistician and definitely not claiming perfection. Share your thoughts below.
*Research provided by the Advertising Specialty Institute, Copyright ©2010, All Rights Reserved.