What’s In An Ad?


If you were one of the millions of people watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, then you probably got an eyeful of some of the most enticing advertisements television has to offer. They better be! According to experts, the average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl commercial was expected to be about $4 million this year. That’s right – $4 million – up from about $3.8 million last year. Of course, it was predicted more than 100 million people would watch the game and that’s a sizeable audience!

Whether a company is trying to reach a lot of people at once or target a very specific audience, advertising isn’t as easy as it once was. As a recent article in The Economist pointed out: 

“Poor admen… Their industry is going through a particularly difficult time. Not only are they confronting a proliferation of new “channels” through which to pump their messages, they are also having to puzzle out how to craft them in an age of mass skepticism. Consumers are bombarded with brands wherever they look – the average Westerner sees a logo (sometimes the same one repeatedly) perhaps 3,000 times each day – and, thus, are becoming jaded. They are also increasingly familiar with the tricks of the marketing trade and determined to cut through the clutter to get a bargain.” 

A survey intended to measure the benefits of 700 brands on both personal and community levels found, “The majority of people worldwide wouldn’t care if 73 percent of brands disappeared tomorrow.” Americans are more skeptical than others. In the United States, people would not care if 92 percent of brands disappeared. The U.S. survey results suggested just nine percent of brands are thought to actually help improve the quality of life in America. 

Are Super Bowl ads money well spent? Some say yes; others say no. A 2010 study commissioned by Fox Sports (the Super Bowl is shown on the Fox network) reported an 11 percent increase in sales of products and services advertised during the big game. The January 2014 issue of Advertising Age reported just 20 percent of Super Bowl ads lead to sales. Maybe the better gauge is you. Did you watch the Super Bowl and see the ads? Did they change your purchase decisions or attitude toward a particular brand?