Fox, which aired the 2020 competition, sold all of its Super Bowl ad space before Thanksgiving 2019 and generated $ 448.7 million in ad revenue – a record, according to research firm Kantar. Sales have been slower this year and CBS only filled its 70 or so slots last week.
The attention generated by Super Bowl advertisements extends beyond the game. According to Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, twice as many people could see the commercials on social media websites as they did during the broadcast. Brands also hope their ads are distinctive or dramatic enough to cause a stir after the final whistle.
“But this echo effect, which many brands are banking on, will not be so great this year,” said Berger. “Fewer people will speak in the office on Monday morning because they won’t be in the office.”
These days, commercials are only part of the Super Bowl marketing for many companies. Verizon’s plan is to sponsor game sessions on Twitch, a Verizon-branded virtual stadium in the online video game Fortnite, and a live streaming post-game concert starring Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus. The company’s traditional TV commercial “was the easiest thing we do,” said Diego Scotti, Verizon’s chief marketing officer.
Matt Manning, the executive director of the MKTG agency, said the Super Bowl was “probably the premier meeting event” for the advertising industry in a typical year, adding that his colleagues often had trouble getting a hotel room within 20 miles book stadium. He said he’s not going this year because of the pandemic.
It is also the first time in 15 years that Jeremy Carey, CEO of Optimum Sports, has not participated in the game. He said his company, the sports marketing division of advertising firm Omnicom Media Group, handles up to 20 percent of Super Bowl advertisers. Even at some distance from the field, he expects to feel tense on Sunday.
“It’s different from anything,” said Mr. Carey. “When you look at the top performing programs, nothing comes close. There are nervous nervousnesses that go with it – but if you didn’t have that as a Super Bowl marketer, I’d question your humanity. “
John Koblin contributed to the coverage.