The Superbowl has attracted millions of football fans every year. In turn, the annual championship NFL game attracts millions of dollars per 30-second ad spot from brands across the nation. As one of the largest events with the most viewers at a given time, the Superbowl has become the epitome of television marketing.
Then along came the Internet.
It’s taken some time for the advertising industry to adjust, but online marketing is beginning to change the game of Superbowl advertising. According to the Los Angeles Times, Fed-Ex and other big brands are opting out of the big-budget ad spots that accompany the biggest football game of the year.
While there isn’t much admittance of leaving the Superbowl for online advertising from the big brands themselves, there are several factors that could encourage brands to consider online ads in lieu of Superbowl ads this year, and upcoming years in the future.
The past year or so has seen a great deal of refocusing advertising efforts to the online market. This was partially due to the fallen market, requring many corporations to take a more creative and streamlined approach to advertising. The solution emerged in the form of online and socially integrated efforts, where the quality of a marketing campaign began to mean a relationship built between a brand and a consumer.
Other factors include the increasingly integrated options for social media advertising, where an ad can come in the form of a Facebook app and user engagement is procured by launching related contests. No matter which way you slice it, online advertising is beginning to take shape, and some find that the shift to online marketing is happening faster and sooner than expected.
With the inclusion of mobile apps, socially integrated marketing campaigns are of particular interest to brands, large and small.The ability to provide more convenience and information to consumers, while also gathering much more detailed information about their consumer behavior gives certain online and social marketing efforts a relationship with customers based on quality instead of quantity.
The indication of big brands moving away from TV-based ads on Superbowl Sunday towards socially-integrated marketing campaigns means that online advertising could be beginning to pay off. As the Los Angles Times notes, the refusal of certain big brands to pay out large sums of cash for a short ad spot during the Superbowl suggests that they are either waving the white flag of defeat or rebelling against tradition.
Chrysler, for instance, is planning on running ad spots during the Superbowl, which is likely a way for the car manufacturer to revive hope in its brand. As one of the most financially damaged car manufacturers in the U.S., Chrysler seems like a perfect candidate for tightened-budget, socially integrated ads. GM has already defied TV ads all together for one of its products, a car for which it has launched a full-fledged online and mobile marketing scheme. The goal for GM is to follow its consumers and interact with them at access points with which they’re comfortable.
On the upside (for many brands and television broadcasters, at least), the merging of TV, social media and the Internet at large is ongoing. While ad spots may not always cost tens of thousands of dollars per second, they may still command a hefty amount should the Superbowl find a way to leverage socially-integrated distribution methods as fans’ viewing options. Instead of the broadcasting industry completely losing out to the Internet advertising industry, the Superbowl and big brands will reunite at the future junction of integrated and consumer-centric television viewing.