Super Bowl Sunday is the ultimate event. It is the most watched TV broadcast and the second largest day for food consumption in the US, after Thanksgiving. It drives interaction, engagement, and discussion for weeks prior and for weeks after the "Big Game." For marketers that invest in this annual event, millions of impressions and dollars are on the line.

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This year there are expected to be 70 (:30) spots during this year's telecast on Fox. Sold at an average of $4 million each, the Super Bowl is expected to garner about $280 Million in media spending. 

Amidst the hype and coverage surrounding the $4 Million price tag, advertising research firm Communicus published a study to answer a decades-old question: Is Super Bowl advertising really effective?

According to this, the unfortunate answer for most is NO. On average, 80%, or FOUR of FIVE spots, failed to drive purchase or build interest in the product being advertised. The "favorites" in the Super Bowl advertising game were not always the ones that sold the goods.

This isn't to say that advertising during one of the most expensive and widest watched TV events isn't worthwhile. Well executed, it can have an enormous return on investment. But this stat should send a shiver down every CMO's spine, and drive everyone back to their creative strategy basics.

Commercials that succeed on awareness and branding dimensions are the only ones whose sponsors really won where it counts - at the cash register. 


Links to more coverage of this study: 

AdAge - 80% of Super Bowl Ads Don't Help Sales

CBS News - Why Superbowl Commercials May Be A Colossal Waste of Money

Communicus Study

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