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Google Media Super Bowl

Programmatic plays in the Super Bowl


By Doug Zanger, Americas Editor

February 5, 2016 | 3 min read

The big, brassy, creative ads may be the darlings of Super Bowl advertising. But programmatic advertising is having its say as well. Digital marketers, just like those looking to break through during the big game on the big screen, are fighting for their own pieces of the digital pie — and there are plenty of programmatic opportunities to be had, if done right.

“The Super Bowl is understandably associated with television ads, but it’s such a big event that it moves the digital media market as well. Marketers who understand these dynamics can be smarter with their digital investments during this year’s game,” said Matt Greitzer, Accordant Media COO and Co-Founder.

Accordant Media, founded in 2010 and established by Avenue A | Razorfish, Aegis Media, Akamai and DoubleClick executives, pointed out that volume KPIs indicated that impression volume ramps up towards the end of the game and the rest of the night, clicks and conversions rise steadily in the second half of the game and continue for several hours afterwards but dip during the game.

They also noted that marketers spent significantly more before and during the game and that CPM, CPC and CPA metrics were 2 times higher than normal during the game, but dropped off significantly in the final hour.

With that in mind, Accordant shared three key learnings that savvy digital marketers can leverage around the Super Bowl as it relates to programmatic.

First, it’s not a good idea to go “all-in” before the game.

Smart marketers will learn from last year’s Super Bowl by not going all-in in the hours leading up to the game. For much of the day last year, supply and demand were not in sync, and marketers were inefficient with their money as a result. The steady price increase in the hours leading up to the game suggest demand was outstripping supply, and the volume chart supports this theory. Only toward the end of the game — and after the game — did supply catch up to demand, which caused prices to decrease as a result.

Second, if marketers are looking for efficiency, the hour before kickoff is not the place to be.

Marketers spent the most in the hour preceding the game last season, but that was also the most expensive hour in terms of CPM, CPC and CPA. Marketers also spent more during the first half of the game compared to the second half of the game, but the cost metrics indicate the reverse strategy would have been more efficient.

And, finally, post-game activity is a grand opportunity.

Because of the lag that exists between cost and volume, marketers who wait until the second half of the game can take advantage of high volume and lower costs. Super Bowl Sunday is an unofficial holiday, and much like the real holiday season, the best deals are to be found immediately following the main event.

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