Everyone knows that the Super Bowl is an event like no other, whether you’re in it for the thrilling plays, the advertising spectacular, or the buffet of wings and cheese dip at the watch party.
The Super Bowl is historically one of the most watched and discussed television events of the year. During this year’s matchup between the Eagles and Chiefs, more than 113 million people tuned in, making the 2023 Super Bowl the third-most watched television program of all time and the biggest audience in more than a half-decade.
Big viewership numbers mean plenty of opportunity for brands to get their message out to the world and for musical artists to show up and show off during halftime. But with 30-second spots ranging from $6 to $7 million, is the price tag worth it? Is the risk of underwhelming the audience worth the potential exposure from headlining the halftime show? What exactly are the benefits of Super Bowl advertising? Let’s take a look.
Super Bowl Advertising Benefits
There’s also no denying that airing a commercial during the Super Bowl can be highly beneficial to your brand—advertisers with a budget to blow jump at the chance to align with such a huge event. Analysts found that the ROI for 2022’s Super Bowl ads was about $5 per every dollar spent, and that’s not including the brand awareness lift—impressions, mentions, shares, media coverage, water-cooler chat—for especially memorable ads that can boost revenue over the next few months.
EOD, a research company that evaluates the influence of advertising by connecting the dots between what people see and what they do online after the fact, assessed this year’s ads and celebrities by indexing the median-performing in-game Super Bowl ad to compare its impact on brand engagement. There were some incredible wins for 2023, including:
- Warner Bros. Pictures’ trailer for The Flash had an Engagement index of 2373
- He Gets Us’ Love Your Enemies was the second biggest with a 1418 Engagement Index
- Disney’s Dream Come True ad was the third biggest hit with 1248 Engagement Index
- Temu’s Shop Like a Billionaire ad reported a 1029 Engagement Index
Halftime Performance Benefits
The entertainment value of the halftime performance is barely eclipsed by the game–and for some, it’s the whole reason for watching. Big names like Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, Janet Jackson, and Justin Timberlake (you haven’t forgotten the “wardrobe malfunction,” have you?) have electrified the stage with memorable moments–and they do it for free.
While some halftime performers have been known to be paid for their appearances, for many, performing at the Super Bowl is more about exposure than anything else. Per NFL policy, artists aren’t paid an appearance fee, although they cover the show’s production costs. Artists don’t mind forgoing a monetary reward because the post-performance brand lift can make bank.
For example, after Beyonce performed at the 2013 Super Bowl, her album sales increased by 43%, while her single sales increased by 68%. Rihanna, who headlined the 2023 show, wowed audiences with a 13-minute comeback performance—and a pregnancy announcement and a pitch for her beauty brand, Fenty Beauty—showed us exactly how valuable halftime performances can be. Researchers believe her show gave her $5.6 million in earned media for Fenty Beauty and an additional $2.6 million for her boutique clothing line, Savage x Fenty. Other metrics included:
- 700% increase in mentions on Tik Tok and Twitter for Fenty
- 640% spike in streams on Spotify
- 331% increase in listeners on Apple Music
With results like this, a $7 million paid ad spot seems like child’s play.
There are plenty of reasons why companies should consider investing in Super Bowl marketing advertising. But even if your company doesn’t have a Super Bowl ad budget or linkage with a famous singer, these results prove the power of experiential marketing. Investing in a well-executed campaign in combination with a significant event can reap substantial rewards. The key is taking advantage of both opportunities and understanding how they can work together to create maximum impact.
If you’re curious about how to make event marketing work for your business, contact the Pierson Media team to brainstorm options for your next campaign.