Hailed as one of the biggest sporting events in the world, the NFL Superbowl is an international spectacle packed with celebrity spectators, legendary half-time performers, and multi-million dollar TV advertisements. Then there’s the excitement of the actual game. With over 113 million viewers tuning in year after year, it’s no wonder the Superbowl is a hotspot for marketing teams to flex their skills (and their budgets) to capture people in between the actual football game.
But what makes this sporting event so unique?
It’s Already The Most Expensive Superbowl Ever
If you want to experience the electric atmosphere for yourself, the cheapest tickets to the Superbowl LVIII will set you back an eye-watering $8188. This is a 50% jump in price from last year’s cheapest ticket price. Although the Western Economy is struggling with a Cost of Living crisis and inflation costs, this is not relative to the price hikes we are seeing for these tickets – so why is it so expensive? Firstly, two of the most highly marketable football teams in the league have made it to the Superbowl – the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Fransisco 49ers. Secondly, Las Vegas are hosting his year’s Superbowl, a place known for making you spend all your hard-earned dollars as though you have a limitless bank account. There’s also the high anticipated half-time performance slot which has become one of the most prestigious stages for artists to grace. This automatically drives up the price of tickets as you get a sporting event and a mini-concert rolled into one event! This year Usher will take to the stage for the half-time show.
The Only Televised Event Where People Wait To Watch The Ads
That’s right, there is a whole segment of people who are not that interested in the actual Superbowl game, but are tuning in to watch the ad breaks instead.
I know what you’re thinking – some planning goes into the bathroom breaks during the Superbowl.
Also, why do people care about TV ads so much?
That’s because cinching one of the golden Superbowl TV slots means you can get seen by over 100 million people at once. It is the prime launchpad for any business looking to increase brand awareness, launch a new product, or simply get people talking about you. So once businesses know they have their ad slot, their marketing teams assemble and truly flex their creative muscles (and multi-million dollar budgets) to create not just a great TV ad, but one that people will remember, talk about with their workmates in the office the next day, or post about on social media.
It’s not enough to create an ad that is good for these slots, you need to be memorable. That can sometimes mean drafting in Hollywood directors, like Apple did in 1984 when they announced the launch of the very first Macintosh computer.
Watch: Apple ‘1984’ (1984)
Or you draft every A-Lister in your contacts along with your very own CEO like Amazon did for their genius commercial from 2018, when Alexa ‘lost her voice’
Watch: alexa loses her voice(2018)
Sometimes (or most of the time) the commercials don’t even feature the product they’re advertising, but it’s the story-telling that makes then memorable. Like this Budweiser ad from 2014 dubbed ‘Puppy Love.’
Watch: budweiser ‘Puppy love’ (2014)
Or sometimes, you don’t need Hollywood, fancy sets, musical numbers or artistic flare, you simply let your product take centre stage, like Google’s commercial from 2009 called ‘Parisian Love’
Watch: google ‘Parisian Love’ (2009)
However, with social media and streaming platforms firmly integrated in our everyday lives, Superbowl marketing has extended beyond the TV slots and now brands can reach their audiences before, during and after the game. This is something that Apple’s 1984 marketing team won’t have had to think about, but in 2024, these three stages of the Superbowl are crucial for a successful strategy, mainly because you can create noise around your brand and potentially drive results without having to spend any extra budget.
How Brands Today Use YouTube In Their Superbowl Strategies
YouTube is the biggest streaming platform in the world and also the second biggest search engine, sitting just behind Google. It’s also the place that businesses and viewers turn to before, during and after the Superbowl to make sure they don’t miss any of the ads.
So how are brands capitalising on this platform?
Some brands kicked off their Superbowl campaign weeks in advance, like Uber. They released a teaser trailer for their commercial on YouTube on 30th January and it’s already acquired 750,000 views. Their hilarious spin on the well-known meme from the Netflix documentary Beckham featuring David and Victoria respectably has already circulated widely on social media and is already the most anticipated commercial for the Superbowl.
Watch: david and victora beckham forget: uber (2024)
With Uber creating a buzz around their Superbowl commercial slot, they’re already building on their brand awareness across the social platforms.
YouTube is also the platform people are turning to the most during the game when they might have missed a commercial, as Google’s data suggest that 48% of viewers search for commercials on YouTube during the game to search for ads they’ve missed. This is a crucial statistic for brands that cinched a coveted TV slot as it means their marketing isn’t over once their ad has aired. Now viewers can re-watch the ad with just a few taps and continue to circulate the ad without much extra spend needed from the marketing budget to do so.
Once the Superbowl is over, there’s still no rest for the TV ads, as 38% of viewers then turn to YouTube to catch up on all the commercials they’ve missed during the game – almost like a sequel to the game itself. This means more people watching the ad, more coverage and more brand uplift.
Although it might almost seem ‘dated’ for businesses to be investing this much into a TV advert when YouTube is becoming a highly lucrative advertising platform for a fraction of the cost, events like the Superbowl remind us that TV isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, it proves that traditional and online marketing can work in tandem to create highly effective strategies.
Are you tuning into the Superbowl this Sunday? Or are you going to catch up on the ads the next day?