Does Super Bowl branding even work?

group of men wearing red watching football game

The Super Bowl is just a couple days away. And just like any other passive football watcher living with a football fanatic, I tend to focus on other perks of the big game: food, togetherness, and of course commercials.

One might think that purchasing ad space during the Super Bowl means (excuse my word choice) a guaranteed touchdown, but apparently not. I came across this recent super bowl finding that reports:

Super Bowl commercial viewers can only remember the brand from a commercial 35% of the time—which is less than half the normal recall rate for advertisements during regular prime-time television.

This shocked me at first, and made me think of a recent Advertising Specialty Institute report stating:

Not only is the cost-per-impression of promotional products significantly cheaper than the cost-per-impression for ad space during prime-time television, but promotional product recipients also remember the advertiser 86% of the time—a significantly higher recall rate than ads during the Super Bowl.

Now I am definitely not suggesting giving up your Super Bowl ad space because there are better branding methods out there (although you may want to think twice), I’m simply emphasizing how important it is to make sure your investment and branding efforts are actually going to meet your goals. If your only goal for airing a commercial during the Super Bowl is for your brand and message to be remembered, then you should probably either pull your ad or pray your commercial is one of the few to go viral.

On the other hand if you’re one of the big guys who simply need to maintain a large market holding or want to create a fun experience for the viewer, then go for it! As long as you know your branding efforts will send the message you want and you know you’re using an avenue that will work, you really can’t go wrong.

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