February 9th, 2012
By Jody Sadler, director of connections planning/media
Super Bowl XLVI was the most-watched television program in U.S. history. According to updated Nielsen data from Monday afternoon, 111.3 million viewers tuned in for the game (that’s 7 percent higher than the last time the Giants and Patriots met in 2008 for Super Bowl XLII). Not surprisingly, four of the Top 5 most-watched programs are Super Bowls. (The fifth is the M*A*S*H series finale, in case you were wondering.)
This year was also the most expensive for advertisers. A 30-second spot cost an average of $3.5 million, up from $3.1 million last year. The last time these two teams met in Super Bowl XLII, a 30-second spot was a mere $2.7 million.
While the outcome of the two games was the same (sadly for me, as I live with a Patriots fan), there was a definite change in the advertising. Unlike four years ago, 2012 saw advertisers make the most of their ads by taking advantage of new technology and the two-screen experience.
In an effort to gain additional exposure, many advertisers posted their ads on the Web before the game. They offered teasers, long-form video or the actual commercial – along with a lot fewer game day surprises.
According to Nielsen research, 70 percent of tablet users and 68 percent of smartphone users watch television with their devices in hand. Advertisers incorporated applications, both existing and custom, to make their ads more engaging. Approximately one-third of the ads were “Shazamable,” allowing consumers to enter sweepstakes, view special content and download free music. The Chevy Game Time app gave users a chance to win prizes or drive home a 2012 Chevy by answering trivia questions and polls.
Other advertisers utilized Twitter hashtags and QR codes, or drove viewers to websites for further interaction. Audi sent viewers to Twitter to talk about their spot with “#SoLongVampires.” Go Daddy incorporated a QR code that allowed viewers to see additional ad content and download Go Daddy coupons. Universal Pictures partnered with Fandango to connect a movie trailer to advance ticket sales. Viewers were directed (briefly) to the Fandango website and mobile site, encouraging them to sign up for a FanAlert™ about the movie, as well as the chance to win five years’ worth of free movie tickets.
Whether or not the ads themselves are funnier or better than in 2008, this year advertisers have created a great opportunity to monitor user interaction and encourage further consumer engagement that didn’t exist with the 30-second Super Bowl XLII spot.