Businesses pay big bucks for TV spotlight

Published 12:01am Sunday, February 3, 2013

Today, the San Francisco 49ers will face the Baltimore Ravens to see who can claim the title of Super Bowl XLVII Champions.

It’s the greatest game of the year, the most thrilling gridiron match imaginable.

It’s the game in which children and adults dream of playing.

This year, the Super Bowl is only a three-hour drive from Natchez, meaning it’s tangible to me. I could literally fill up my tank and drive there today.

But do you know what? I couldn’t care less.

I’ve never been a Ravens fan, and I stopped having much interest in the 49ers after Joe Montana, Steve Young and Jerry Rice hung up their cleats.

Once Natchez native Stevan Ridley’s team, the New England Patriots, lost in the conference championship game, the Super Bowl just didn’t seem all that thrilling.

This year’s actual game doesn’t mean much to me.

So, if I watch any of it, it may only be to see a few of the annual Super Bowl commercials that, in many ways, have become more anticipated than the first snap.

Super Bowl commercials are big business.

A new survey by Nielsen reports that 91 percent of American consumers say they’re as interested in watching the commercials, as they are the game itself.

That’s all for a good reason. The country’s best and brightest marketing wizards usually strut their stuff during the Super Bowl commercials.

The cost of such advertising is mind-boggling.

A 30-second spot for the 2013 Super Bowl reportedly sells for approximately $3.8 million, or more than $126,000 per second!

That so many businesses are willing to fork out big bucks is a testament to what they believe they’re receiving in return — huge, nationwide exposure to their products or services.

Cost justifying $3.8 million in spending requires, at least for two major Super Bowl advertisers, selling a ton of Doritos and a river of Budweiser.

Super Bowl commercials are always fascinating because in reality exposure alone doesn’t create sales for most Super Bowl advertisers.

In thinking back for the last couple of years, I can think of a few good Super Bowl commercials that stood out as being particularly “good” ones.

But as I dig a little deeper, it becomes apparent to me that while the commercial’s “brand awareness” may have subliminally marked my mind, I didn’t knowingly buy any more corn chips or beer than before the commercials enticed me to stop and watch them.

Of course, getting Americans to actually watch TV advertising messages in the first place is a feat worth celebrating, I suppose.

Most TV watchers avoid commercials like the plague. Aside from one day of the year — today — most TV viewers are quick to avoid them through either DVR technology or by simply punching to another channel.

Radio advertising has the same problem.

Printed newspapers are different. A high majority of our readers actually seek out advertising information in the newspaper — and act on ad messages found there.

The difference comes in who controls when the message is delivered and read. In broadcast media, the producer decides — and hopes you don’t skip it. In print, the reader decides whether or not to engage with the advertising.

Putting control in the hands of consumers just makes sense to me.

 

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.

  • Anonymous

    Its now 6:30 and my print edition of ND has not been delivered so I can avoid answering those inane surveys to read articles online. If it were advertising that would make more sense, surveys don’t.

  • Anonymous

    GOOD MORNING.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com Kevin Cooper

    If you didn’t already report the late delivery to our circulation folks, please shoot me an e-mail with your delivery address so that we may respond to the complaint.

    kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com

    Thanks.
    Kevin.

  • Anonymous

    It got here about 7:15.

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