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Super Bowl

So you ran a Super Bowl ad. Now, what?

By Keith Eadie

February 5, 2016 | 4 min read

Chances are you had to part with about $5m for 30 seconds of eyeball time. You may have even got lucky and been selected for a few ‘Best Super Bowl ad’ pieces of PR coverage if your creative was good enough. But, when you add the cost of putting together that spot (agency fees, talent, etc) to the bottom line, chances are your costs almost doubled.

In 2015, a record 114.4 million Americans tuned into the Super Bowl to watch New England beat Seattle – and pundits predict that number will be even higher as the event celebrates its 50th anniversary in San Francisco this weekend.

The key to success for Super Bowl advertisers won’t be in plopping the ad on linear TV and hoping for the best once it goes live. Instead, it will be judged by what happens after the stadium empties and the lights go out. How far can you make your content go and keep audiences engaged?

While 50 per cent of Americans will have had the chance to see the ad, another 50 per cent won’t have tuned in. And of the viewers who had the TV on to watch the game, how many were in the bathroom, getting another beer, chatting with friends or muting the ad breaks?

Super Bowl success is no longer about posting an ad to YouTube a few days before game day and hoping for the best. Earned media alone won’t accomplish your goals. Driving awareness into action requires different messaging that is pertinent to different audiences on different platforms. It’s the old story – the right message at right time to get the right result.

If you’re spending $5m on a spot, then why not make the spot work harder for you? Try cutting a few different versions of that spot to ensure consumers can re-engage with the content. Create a 15-second version that can be used on mobile. Keep the same message but make the creative less complex to reduce rendering times. Don’t assume your creative or talent will guarantee interest. If the ad still takes 30 seconds to upload, consumers are probably going to tab away no matter how much you throw at them.

The key to securing ROI will lie in cross-screen planning – reaching the potential customers who either didn’t see the ad or who are loyalists of other products.

Cross-screen planning enables brands to measure true ad effectiveness across devices, by letting brands know which campaign is performing best on a particular screen. This means advertisers will be able to reach target audiences while minimising duplication, permitting frequency control, and lowering the incremental on-target CPM.

Eventually, advertisers will be able to buy specific TV audiences – including audiences that either didn’t watch the Super Bowl or who need to re-engage with the brand content released during this premium ad buy - using automated, data-rich software tools.

By planning a campaign that takes into account the modern, multi-device driven consumer, you can guarantee a touchdown on every try.

Keith Eadie is chief marketing officer at TubeMogul

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