With the NCAA Basketball Tournament nearly upon us, I started to think about advertiser value or as the Association calls them, “corporate partners.” Reports of late reveal that Super Bowl advertisers, while they dish out millions of dollars for a minute of air time during the game, have little message recall or effect on sales after the NFL’s biggest and most consumed game of the year.
From a pure consumer standpoint, along with enough education and experience in publicity and public relations to make me dangerous, I attribute the lack of latter as to why ad buzz fizzes soon after the game.
Unless there is a spectacular production, big brands realize conversation about their ads while the game is played and maybe the next morning. After that, they simply return to their big brand-always-advertises status. Infrequent advertisers, sometimes smaller companies, make up the balance of the game’s ad buys. They may pour an entire year’s advertising budget into a 30- or 60-second Super Bowl commercial. If strategically planned and produced, they will glean attention. But for how long?
The answer to maintain momentum lies in how a Super Bowl commercial fits into a company’s fiscal advertising plan. From the outside looking in, it seems as if many businesses go into their big game ad buys without strategies to surround and support them. A company might “leak” content the week before the Super Bowl, but it seemingly banks on Super buzz to carry it through the rest of the year. In today’s multi-media, short-attention span world, one ad doesn’t cut it. If there’s no support and proceeding plans implemented to build on a Super Bowl ad, the buy becomes a waste of money.
Super Bowl 50 is just less than a year away, but if there are companies that plan to drop big bucks to get noticed during the game, I beg them to start mapping strategic programs now. Use every means of communication with which your audience engages and design creatives to maintain or enhance your message. Use in-store marketing, email, social media, video and subsequent broadcast and print advertising to create a tidal wave of information and incentive to appeal to your audience’s senses and provoke them to buy your products or services. Get to know your publicity departments well, because the professionals there can help merge all of these productions early and often. They will help perpetuate the message you spend so much time creating for a prime dollar Super Bowl spot.
Super Bowl real estate is valuable – and expensive — but businesses can multiply that benefit 10-fold. Surrounding media can lift that value weeks and months after the initial air. Just know that it takes more than cutting a check for one commercial to make a dent in your marketing message.