Let’s use this year’s :30 cost of $5MM to make the math simple. Of course there is a 15% agency commission. Which almost no media agency on the planet gets for network TV. Many get 1-2% and in their wildest dreams might get 4-5% for a network buy. So, the spot itself cost the advertiser $4.5MM with commission to the agency; the remainder was rebated to the advertiser. This year, there was an added hook: CBS would not sell a spot to someone without an additional commitment. The advertiser had to commit to an equal amount of money on CBS as their Super Bowl commitment. This does not affect most advertisers as they either bought the spot in the Upfront market with tens or hundreds of millions in additional advertising or as a part of a larger scatter buy. But for the advertiser looking for just one spot in the Super Bowl, this might have been quite a shock. So now we are talking about $9MM ($4.5MM after the rebate x2).
There are tons of articles about what you could buy with $5MM, let alone $9MM, but they miss the point. A brand can’t just spend money in one place; they need reach extension, frequency and engagement for true effectiveness. Mediasmith research suggests that in order to properly support a Super Bowl spot, you would really need to spend $15-20MM to achieve maximum effectiveness for the campaign. This includes other sports sites/videos, long-tail sports sites through programmatic, sports fan targeting through programmatic, paid and earned social, mobile, SEM and events/PR plus a good budget for collateral, in-store, etc
Keeping the above in mind, here are some other factoids supporting additional efforts:
1.Over a third of this year’s viewers used a second screen to supplement the game-viewing experience, whether checking news, commentary, sports apps, etc.
2. 52% of viewers planned to use social media while watching
3. Forbes Magazine said it best: “The advertisers who ‘win’ from the Super Bowl may not be the advertisers whose creative won the AdMeter, but rather those advertisers whose creative integration of their Super Bowl spot into a broader strategic mix drives sustainable, long-term results.”
So “if” you’re budgeting for next year, don’t think just about a spot, think about what you want to accomplish with it (reach, registering a new concept, sales, etc.) and build a plan accordingly. If you only look at advertising as the cost of a spot then you aren’t seeing the big picture. It’s like thinking you need a famous QB to win the Super Bowl when an outstanding defensive team just might do the trick.