With this year’s Superbowl costing $4.5 million for a :30 second spot I was not surprised to hear that some brands are opting-out. Some of the most sophisticated marketers are doing a cost-benefit analysis on the Superbowl and figuring out that the game may not deliver strong enough returns.
According to Time some of the big car brands won’t be running advertising even when some of the most celebrated and shared spots in social media have been car ads. In 2011 Volkswagen’s Darth Vader ad was the second most shared Super Bowl ad of all time. Not only that, but Volkswagen saw strong sales in 2011. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/01/04/144683693/u-s-carmakers-vw-report-big-gains-in-auto-sales-for-2011
So why is Volkswagen opting out this year? My guess is that social media have become so cluttered that a break-through ad – even when run during the Super Bowl -is difficult to create, execute and ignite. According to Forbes, GM is backing out because they don’t have any new cars to launch this year and others have found more effective places to locate audiences at a lower cost, such as the college football playoffs. http://fortune.com/2015/01/27/big-automakers-are-putting-the-brakes-on-super-bowl-ads/
An even more perplexing question is why so many new brands are buying ad time during the Super bowl, when clearly they have never tested the Super Bowl as a forum for their brands. Some of these new brands include: a brand of super glue, smart phone cases and a website company. Using the Super Bowl to reach potential targets casts a very wide and expensive net, when other methods would hone in on the target better. Don’t people make an in-store decision when buying super glue? Wouldn’t working with retailers be more effective? If you have a smartphone, you have a case, so the target only represents those buying new smartphones this year around the time of the Super Bowl. That’s a pretty small target. It’s a risky decision to spend half your budget on a Super Bowl ad. What will these brands do the rest of the year?