$175,000 per second. A grand total of $5,250,000 for a single 30-second slot. 30 seconds to capture your audience, share a compelling message, and move the customer further down the purchase funnel - all before the next ad starts and another business vies for their attention.

For many businesses, $5M isn’t just the budget for a single Super Bowl ad, but rather the marketing budget for the entire year, or even the annual operating budget of the whole company. This is why it is so crucial to be certain that your advertising dollars are spent in the most cost-effective and conscious way, with actionable data to back it up after the fact.

The 2019 Super Bowl had the lowest TV ratings since 2009. It earned a 44.9 from Neilson, while chatter online has only increased year over year as more fans consume the game through non-traditional methods. In fact, while viewership has declined, the cost of advertising through television has increased by nearly $1M per 30 seconds since 2015. In 2015, viewership was estimated at nearly 112M people, while the 2018 game was only viewed by 103M - and Sunday's matchup only drew an estimated 100.3M fans.

Traditional media advertising will always have its place (who can pass up those adorable Budweiser dogs and horses?!) but it's time to consider alternatives. Advertising in the digital space can maximize a company's budget, and earn more exposure than a 30 sec TV ad being shown to a diminishing number of viewers. Many brands are opting out of purchasing ad space, and instead crafting multi-level digital campaigns. Companies who would once have purchased multiple TV slots are now only purchasing a meagre one or two. This makes room for a full digital supporting campaign that furthers the storyline and keeps their brand top-of-mind in the hours, days, and even weeks following the big game.

The following infographic demonstrates just how far $5,250,000 can go in new media forms of advertising:

Tradable Bits Super Bowl Ads Equivalent Spend

The above figures reflect annual industry averages, and showcase how digital advertising can reach more eyeballs and earn more actions (clicks) than a $5M 30 second slot. A digital ad can also be measured in ways far beyond traditional media methods. By analyzing stats like CPC, CPM and reach, you can refine your messaging and consistently improve your approach. You can also use demographic targeting to reach your preferred audience - further maximizing your budget - or choose specific ad placements that your audience loves to use (think Instagram stories vs. Facebook). While Hyundai can only hope that I was watching the TV while their ad played (unfortunately for them I was refilling my plate), GMC knows that I viewed their Instagram Story ad while scrolling through my phone during the Halftime Show.

We should also assume that the CPC and CPM will increase during peak advertising times, like Super Bowl weekend. However, even at an inflated rate, the value of an online campaign vs. a Super Bowl commercial will be much longer-lived than 30 seconds. Digital ads may even keep your brand on fans' minds long after Bill Belichick has wrung the Gatorade from his hoodie.

Need help with spending your ad budget wisely? Contact us for a free consultation on digital advertising for sports.

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