Today’​s Burning Question: Super Bowl Ad Spend (TV vs. Online)

Written on
Jan 31, 2013 
Mike Daly  |

Earlier this week via email, we asked industry leaders: Is a significant portion of Super Bowl ad dollars shifting from TV to online this year? Here are the responses.

“I wouldn’t say a significant portion is shifting from TV to online. However, I will say that the investments in online advertising during the Super Bowl are on the rise and there are three primary reasons for this. The first is the fact that online behavior is trackable. Second is because consumers like to watch and re-watch the Super Bowl ads online, especially if they haven’t paid close attention while watching the game with friends and family. Third, and this is most important, is the ability to engage potential customers online and you can’t do this with TV. The key is being able to identify those viewers who are watching the ads online for entertainment versus those that will become customers. This is where retargeting pays off in terms of being able to identify, nurture and convert those prospects into buyers.” — Danny Kourianos, vice president of product development, Rakuten MediaForge.


“Major brands like Coca-Cola, Unilever and Doritos, who traditionally put their focus on TV advertising for the Super Bowl, are increasingly using social media and online contests to increase audience engagement prior to game day. These are all examples of brands who could leverage their Super Bowl online contests to collect, organize and activate big data to deepen engagement and grow their consumer base before, during and after the game. There is a large opportunity to not only retarget these consumers across devices (desktop, mobile, tablet), but also learn more about their individual interests, actions and demographics. Using these insights, the big brands can build and target look-alike audiences to grow their consumer base and increase their revenues well before next year’s game.” – Madeline Rich, Director of Marketing, Lotame.

“Brand advertising dollars this year are being spread across screens at an unprecedented level to target audiences before, during and after the Super Bowl. Brands, of course, continue their spend on TV ads for the Super Bowl, yet regardless of the brand, it’s a fact that the combination of TV and digital video advertising delivers better brand lift. This year more than any other, we’re seeing a clear increase in brands creating integrated multi-screen video advertising campaigns to get the most out of their total marketing investment.” — Alp Pekkocak, Director of Product Marketing, YuMe.

“I would say so because considering several recent surveys conducted about the subject, a large majority of people use multiple devices — smartphone, tablet or combination thereof — while watching TV.” — Sue Duris, President, M4 Communications.

“We’re definitely seeing a shift with Super Bowl initiatives increasing their online activities and spend as a pre-game run up that is helping to maximize money spent on TV.  Based on our preliminary findings, pre-game run ups with audience involvement, which the digital space provides, are bearing fruit.  While TV remains the primary channel for reaching audiences during the Super Bowl, online has certainly earned a seat at the table, and we’ll start to see more marketing ad dollars being allocated toward that channel moving forward. The three ‘game changers’ within digital that are driving this shift are the view of ads as compelling share-worthy content, brand activation that creates social engagement and amplification for ad content and the use of mobile for reaching consumers in a leisure mode both during and after the big game.  These three approaches were nascent two years ago, tested last year and are finally being employed with some scale this year.” — Ammiel Kamon, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Mobile at Kontera.

“I wouldn’t say that Super Bowl dollars are shifting to online this year, because the game is sold out and is and always will be a great opportunity for ‘event marketing’ with no time shifting. The ‘shift’ we’re seeing has more to do with the marketers’ realization that it’s not enough to be in the game. Brands need to extend their presence beyond the :30 seconds, and that’s where online and mobile become valuable augmentations to Super Bowl campaigns. Whether they’re updating their Twitter feed or following up-to-the-minute expert commentary on sports sites, fans will have their ‘second screen’ active for the entire game. Smart marketers will use this opportunity not just for brand exposure but to establish an ongoing relationship with consumers via companion apps and mobile promotions. In previous years, brands could only hope to stay top of mind through Monday morning when everyone is discussing the game and their favorite commercials. With mobile, they now have the chance to switch brief, high-profile exposure to true CRM that could last a lifetime.” – Peter Dille, CMO of Tapjoy.

Mike Daly is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years of experience in publishing. He began his career in 1983 at The News of Paterson, N.J., a long-since defunct daily paper, where at age 22 he was promoted to the position of Editorial Page Editor. Since then he has served in managerial capacities with several news organizations, including Arts Weekly Inc. and North Jersey Media Group in New Jersey and Examiner Media in New York. His work has been honored on numerous occasions by the New Jersey Press Association and the Society for Professional Journalists.

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