Television’s tentpole live events, such as the Super Bowl and The Oscars, continue to reliably attract top advertisers. TV viewership may be facing headwinds, but brands still see these broadcasts as a compelling opportunity to reach large and engaged audiences.
At the same time, marketers have been conditioned by the speed and richness of data available to them in digital advertising. Increasingly, they are pushing TV networks and agencies to provide the same speed and granularity of data for their spending on TV ads, enabling a move from post-mortem analysis to real-time optimization. Networks are responding by investing in new capabilities to meet their advertisers’ needs, in the hopes that this will help them reclaim the narrative for TV advertising and pull back dollars from digital budgets. This dynamic is likely to shape the way TV ads and sponsorships are bought and sold in the very near future.
With more than 100 million Americans tuned in from homes, bars and viewing parties across the country, the Super Bowl offers unparalleled reach to marketers seeking exposure for their brands.
Objectives of Super Bowl advertising vary. This year, Super Bowl ads drew awareness to new or recently launched brands, products and offers (for example, Disney’s Captain Marvel and Audi’s e-tron GT); they also built brand affinity through new messages (such as Budweiser announcing that its beer is now brewed with 100% renewable electricity from wind power).
Measures of success are equally varied. Surveys and polls have long crowned winners by recall and favorability. In a multiscreen world, the metrics have expanded to include views, tweets, likes and shares. For the C-suite, however, the most meaningful measures are the outcomes that marketers hope these ads influence—namely, website traffic, store visits and ultimately sales. The lack of a definitive linkage between individual TV advertisements and outcomes, however, remains a barrier to a better understanding of the returns on these investments.