Start Up Blog

Super Bowl Advertising – Tor Myhren

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on February 14, 2011

I’ve been a big advocate for the web changing communications and advertising forever. I’ve been heard to say that TV is in irreversible decline in terms of broadcasting. I believe it’s future is one of narrow casting.  But before we close on the Super Bowl for another year, I wanted to share this interview with Tor Myhren, Grey NY explaining what the hype is really all about:

The Best $3 Million You Ever Spent

One commercial, 2.9 million bucks. Who buys this stuff? Crazy, outdated advertisers who haven’t been told that TV is dead? Or the smartest marketers on the planet, taking advantage of the biggest bargain in today’s scattered media environment? I say the latter. And here are three reasons why;

1. Pregame buzz – You’re not buying 30 seconds; you’re buying two weeks of pregame hype as well. And amid all this media madness, the advertisers get as much attention as the football players. The PR and buzz is unparalleled. Late night and morning show hosts, news anchors, magazine and newspaper writers, bloggers, and tweeters are all talking about who’s on the game and what to expect. Most importantly, this is all free media, consumed by people as editorial content rather than paid advertising. This is the kind of brand exposure that’s nearly impossible to buy. Last year the E*Trade baby was being talked about by Jon Stewart, ESPN, Good Morning America, The Colbert Show and The O’Reilly Factor—all before the Super Bowl even started.

2. Game time – 110 million viewers, all experiencing the exact same thing at the exact same time. The Super Bowl is America’s last campfire. It’s the only event left that we as a nation sit down and watch together. All those emotions you feel watching the game, and watching the ads, are being shared by 110 million other people at the same time. And shared experiences make for better stories. Period. More than one-third of all Americans watched the game last year, and more will watch this year. In this way, the Super Bowl is an anomaly in today’s fractured media landscape, which is why the actual 30 seconds you’re buying is worth its weight in gold. TV isn’t dead, but must-see TV is—with one exception: the Super Bowl.

3. Postgame echo – You’ve got a day or two of conventional media buzz to extend the life of the idea, but that dies pretty quickly after the USA Today poll and other news flurries. Postgame is where digital and viral take over, exponentially increasing the value of a Super Bowl ad with each additional view, comment, blog posting and Twitter comment. The firestorm a great Super Bowl ad can start is pretty awesome. Pop culture sites pick up the content, and news sites feature it. YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, Hulu and thousands of other popular sites all heave their Super Bowl ad contests that get not only massive viewership but also great two-way dialogue going on about the brand. And all of this doesn’t cost a dime. It’s part of the package—the nearly $3 million value package that we like to call a Super Bowl ad.

The Super Bowl is America’s last campfire. It’s when we all sit around and watch. And talk. And pass along our shared stories for days and weeks to come. It takes courage (and a boatload of coin) to play, but I, for one, believe the rewards outweigh the risks.

It all sounds like a pretty valid viewpoint to me – so long as the product and brand is already established, and it’s not a 30 second gamble on the company like it was in the late 90′s for many web startups.

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6 Responses

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  1. Luke McCormack said, on February 14, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Yep. I agree mate! What I liked this year is that YouTube featured a bunch of previews of Super Bowl ads, plus some businesses actually released their full length ad to YouTube. This ad in particular from VW (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0) had about 8 million views before the Super Bowl even started! Which reinforces this notion of social media being layered on top of traditional media – suddenly the $100k per second is looking far more attractive because of the social media element.

    • Steve Sammartino said, on February 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      Yep, though I would add that it only really has the dual benefit when the product, brand or company is very established in market. It’s hardly worth betting the company on.

      Steve.

  2. Steve Dale said, on February 16, 2011 at 4:28 am

    I’ve often wondered if you could do a superbowl commercial of a person just saying blah…blaha….blaha for 20 seconds and then show a logo of any company? End with a cleaver tag line and a simple message.

    • logbennett said, on February 18, 2011 at 2:36 am

      hahaha Steve, you probably should take that idea to an agency! I think that would be a huge shock value ad during the super bowl, and I also think people would be talking about that one for quite a while after also.

      The Green Guerilla


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