A Better Spend of Super Bowl Cash


The fact that we’re comparing Super Bowl Ad prices to ads for other advertising formats is evidence that we haven’t come very far in the last several years.

Why not take that $4 million (which isn’t the total cost…what are you going to put in those 30 seconds? Who’s going to approve it? Who’s going to test it?), and turn it into 15 humans whose sole purpose is to make content for the internet? For that money, you could give them all a sweet salary, outfit them with the latest tools (cameras, computers, software, services, etc.), and still have money left over to fly them places…and give them all a phatty bonus when they crush your awareness goals for the year. (I’m not counting office space in my calculations, because if you’re advertising in the Super Bowl, I assume you’ve got a place to put your new team.)

With that said, I agree that TV is a great place to invest if you’ve got the money, the product, and the infrastructure in place to deal with it.

But if you’re going to pour your TV money into digital, don’t use it to buy inventory. Do something interesting with it.

[EDIT: you could also buy 200 elephants with $4MM.]


One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Just a couple things to add on this.

    1. It usually isn’t either/or. Most of those folks spending 6, 8, whatever million on Super Bowl spots also have a team of content creators, too. And really, those are probably the same people spending big money on takeovers. The difference is that they leverage the spot into a ton of additional noise when those banners aren’t really useful beyond the time they run. Which is crazy.

    And 2. We’re also getting into a more symbiotic relationship between paid and earned anyway. Facebook has already severely curtailed organic reach of content, and I imagine others will follow. So they’ve already made it near impossible to grow a fan base without paying for it, and now they’re making it near impossible to be seen by any more than a sliver of that audience without paying for it either. So even with an awesome editorial team, we’re still getting into the zone of a thousand little mini campaigns – with their own little media budgets – all working together to actually find eyeballs. Granted, that’s primarily a Facebook problem at this point, but I imagine it’ll just be an everyone problem soon enough. Particularly just given the amount of stuff published on the web now.

    Which does make an interesting possibility anyway. You now have an editorial, community, media and analytics team publishing content for social spaces, but a whole other apparatus for running all those banner campaigns most people pay as little attention as possible to. So why not just use that content team to do all your banner type stuff, too.


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