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Super Bowl Ads: Worth the Big Bucks

With an average price tag of nearly $3 million for every 30-second ad, Super Bowl ads are a tougher sell in this year’s troubled economy, but Wake Forest University marketing professor Sheri Bridges says they are still worth the money.

“Believe it or not, advertising on the Super Bowl can be downright economical,” says Bridges, an expert on branding and advertising. She gives eight reasons the Super Bowl is a unique opportunity for advertisers:

1. Exposure to nearly 100 million viewers of the game itself and to an attractive demographic.

2. Extensive publicity before and after the event in a variety of media and media channels.

3. Engagement levels of the audience in the ads are incredibly high (no zipping or zapping; people want to watch the commercials).

4. Excitement of game day can lead to positive feelings being associated with/transferred to the ads/advertisers.

5. Employee morale can be boosted, especially at a time when workers are looking for a reason to feel proud.

6. Evangelical word-of-mouth after the game (around the office water cooler, on the subway, in the checkout line, etc.) about favorite ads.

7. Extended ad life and exposure via airings on Internet sites devoted to Super Bowls ads, including YouTube and advertiser Web pages.

8. Elite image associated with Super Bowl stimulates an "eagle effect" -- if a brand can fly high with the other eagles, it must be good.

“The bottom line…watching Super Bowl commercials is an event in itself,” Bridges says. But, she warns advertisers to steer clear of messages related to the bad economy. “Viewers want ads that make them smile, laugh or get choked up, not those that make them feel depressed,” she says.

Bridges has followed Super Bowl commercials for years and is available to analyze Super Bowl XLIV’s winners and losers.

For interviews contact Kerry M. King, or

Kerry M. King | Newswise Science News
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