For decades, advertising has been the reliable sideshow for the Super Bowl and yesterday’s game was no different. It’s still a place where brands look to make a big splash, companies spend a fortune to reach consumers and advertising executives focus their best creative efforts (and their creative reputations).
For advertisers it’s best remembered as the showcase for 1984, the ad that introduced Apple to the world and shattered preconceived notions about how an ad should both look and feel. It’s regarded by many as the greatest ad ever — even though it only aired once.
In the early 2000s, the Super Bowl was a showcase for dot.com brands that fizzled and disappeared from public view (anyone remember the Pets.com sock puppet?) For industry stalwarts like Budweiser it remains a chance to reach viewers who won’t budge from from their couch for at least a few hours — a rarity now with fragmented viewing habits, Hulu and TiVo, the lure of other technology and the ubiquity of mobile devices.
Even expected things like Super Bowl ads, however, are subject to change. These days, nearly all Super Bowl ads run well before the game itself. We used to look forward to be entertained by great new ads; how does it feel to have already seen them? And what impact was lost?
On top of that, mobile is increasingly driving everything we do, even how we interact with events in the moment. Recent research from Magid, commissioned by Tapjoy, showed that two-screen viewing is commonplace — smartphone users multitask with a PC, tablet or mobile phone nearly half the time they are watching television.
What this means for advertisers: your presence in the big game doesn’t mean people are paying attention. Reaching customers is harder than ever. However, it’s not helpless if you remember the following:
At Tapjoy, we’ve built much of our success on the idea that app users should be able to engage with advertising on their own terms. While the Super Bowl remains one of the few places where advertisers and brands still engage with viewers on their terms, that’s likely short-lived. Accepting and even embracing how people want to receive advertising, rather than writing a big check, might be a much better proposition than the business equivalent of a Hail Mary pass.
Posted by Peter Dille, CMO, Tapjoy