It’s that time of year again when football fans turn their attention to the Superbowl teams, making bet on their favorites. For the advertisers scheduled to appear in the game, at an average cost of $2.7 million for a thirty second spot, the name of the game is ratings.

Traditionally, Superbowl ratings have hovered in the 40.0 range with shares of all viewing homes reaching into the 60 range.

Prediction: This year’s game will generate a 41.3 rating and a 61 share. This translates to 46,586,400 households at an average program Cost Per Thousand of $57.96. It is likely that commercial ratings will push that figure closer to $59.00.

Marketers note: We may also see a bit of an upset in regional ratings as the East Coast markets will have a greater interest in the game than would the Midwest or Pacific regions. Internet activity will also increase, driving traffic to sites reporting on the game. Plan accordingly.

When will the market see the next milestone at $3.0 million for thirty seconds? Look to 2010, with an average CPM of $62.00

Some may argue that the efficiency is lost to the egos of those who run their commercials in the game. It’s all relative. The hype and excitement generated around the commercials can energize a company internally for weeks before and after the game. Buzz (good or bad) will go a long way to elevate a brand’s status. And while the cost may seem initially high, compare the cost of reaching these households with the cost of reaching persons in households interested in medical advice that can range upwards of $100.00 on a CPM basis.

It’s an apples to oranges comparison, but nonetheless, argues that the Superbowl package and the ability to keystone a full year’s marketing effort around it makes it worth every penny. Anhauser Busch has, for years, been the exclusive beer sponsor, picking up four minutes in the game this year. I would argue that any other beer would kill for the opportunity to do the same.


Giorgos V said...

One thing to consider is the advancement and use of new technology. Today, there are hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people who can speed through commercials. Merchandise such as Tivo has changed the way many of the American people watch TV. With these changes can you really reach the number of viewers intended to reach today from previous expectations? Is Super Bowl advertising overpriced? The idea of having 30 seconds of attention from 40 million viewers is nice, but is it going to be as likely when your target market can simply fast-forward through it? Must new studies be organized to filter focus for the non-Tivo user that enjoys watching commercials to market to. This may not be as much of a questionable issue considering the positive reputation of Super Bowl commercials, or will it?

Paul Benjou said...

Technology checkmates technology. With the new advanced reporting standards in place, commercial ratings, not program ratings, take zapping into consideration. A drop off of only a couple of percentage points in ratings is likely. For the Superbowl, however, many of the viewers are staying put to see the hyped commercial parade.