Tag Archives: advertising

The Super Bowl as Economic Barometer

Super Bowl ads represent industry confidence
Super Bowl ads represent industry confidence

Over the years, as the Super Bowl has gained a wider audience, the iconic football match has become a showcase for clever advertising at top-dollar costs. For many fans the halftime show and the ad breaks have almost as much appeal as the game itself, adding to the value of ad placement.

Companies must assess whether spending several million dollars on a few seconds of airtime is money well spent. An examination of which industries are spending their hard earned profits on ads is a pretty good indication of the health of that industry.

This year’s Super Bowl is expected to bring in about $360 million from advertising, at about $4.5 million for half a minute, for the broadcaster of the event, NBC. Industries represented during the great game include car manufacturers, beer brewers, snack suppliers, and high-tech firms. The government of Ecuador made history by becoming the first foreign government to place an ad during the Super Bowl.

According to Kantar Media ad spending over the past three years has risen by double-digit percentages. This can be explained by the fact that there are now fewer chances for companies to reach mass audiences all in one shot, making such opportunities all the more value-laden.

As the expense of placing an ad in the Super Bowl is so dear, it can be inferred that those companies willing to take a chance on spending are doing well.  Based on that theory, it looks like car makers, although spending by far the most money on Super Bowl ads, have stepped back slightly from last year’s spending.

Facebook’s Instagram Beginning Ad Placement Outside US


Ads Coming to Instagram
Ads Coming to Instagram

Facebook’s mobile photo service, Instagram will be expanding is new advertising business to countries outside the United States.

The plan is to first show ads to users in Australia, Britain and Canada later this year by working with just a small number of advertisers in each of those countries.

Facebook has already begun placing ads in Instagram inside the US, beginning last November with brands like Levi’s and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Instagram announced that the ads within the US have, in some cases yielded results “well above the ad industry’s average for performance.”

Instagram has over 200 million users, and is therefore expected to be an excellent source of advertising revenue for Facebook, which purchased the mobile photo service in 2012 for $1 billion. Seeking to calm investor expectations of a quick revenue uptick, Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg said that the company was going to roll out their ad program on Instagram at a moderate pace.

“We don’t see the need or the urge to ramp this as quickly as we possibly can,” Sandberg said.

Kia Sales Success Sparked by Dancing Hamsters

Meet the Kia Hamsters
Meet the Kia Hamsters

Last Sunday night Kia, the Korean car company, introduced its fifth in a series of videos featuring a trio of happy hamsters tooling around in Kia cars. This particular video shows us the loveable, if overweight hamsters (well, they are not overweight for hamsters, unless you think a hamster 6 feet tall and weighing in at about 250 pounds is overweight-but for hamsters they look just fine) getting into shape for an upcoming premiere. Take a look below and decide if you think a hamster should be as thin as these get by the end of their exercise regime.

The real question here is not if you think the rodents over do the workout, but if Kia is spending its advertising budget prudently. The data shows the answer to this question is a resounding yes. Sales have doubled during the past five years since Kia launched its furry creatures into the marketplace to sell their cars. And, as it turns out, for not that much money, really.

Let’s do some comparisons with other car makers and their ad budgets. Kia spent $4.3 billion in the past five years, or about 2.6 percent of revenue. Sounds like a lot of money, right? Wrong. General Motors spent, $24.2 billion, 3.5 percent of revenue, and Ford Motor coughed up $19.9 billion, about 3 percent of revenue. And honestly, which ads will you remember, the traditional Ford ads with cars whizzing through beautiful, but boring landscapes, or three giant hamsters under hairdryers clinching their ‘dos.
‘Nough said.

New SEC Head May Push Through Advertising Proposal for Hedge Funds

New SEC Chairman Elisse Walter

Elisse Walter, the newest head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is likely to successfully push through a deal to ease rules which have been in place for decades restricting hedge funds, buyout shops and small businesses from marketing their wares in public.

Walter, a Democrat who took over the reins of the SEC last week, recently expressed her concern about the proposal. She has fears that loosening the restrictions on public advertising could result in instances of fraud or the sales of securities whose risks investors do not completely understand. Walter pointed out that although the regulators stand to benefit from the change in rules it is still the responsibility of the SEC to insure that investors are protected from risks and oversee hedge fund compliance.

Walter is the head of a commission split between two Republican members and two Democrats, one of them her. This make-up of the commission makes it appear like a compromise proposal will be hard, if not impossible, to achieve.

Analysts contend, however, that Walter will be able to persuade at least one of the Republicans to come to her side and adopt the new rule. It is believed that she will find common interests with the Republican members of the commission who want to allow advertising in this industry. The JOBS act mandated the provision for solicitation of investors by legislation which was approved in April by Congress.

“I am optimistic that Walter and the two Republicans can reach a deal,” said Brian Lane, a former director of the corporation finance division at the SEC while Arthur Levitt was chairman during the Clinton administration.

Super Bowl Ads Heading for Touchdown

Apparently “You get what you pay for” is as true for Super Bowl advertising as it is for other purchases; at least marketing experts believe it. Take for instance the fact that despite asking record fees for ads at last year’s Super Bowl XLV, all the ad space was sold. And the same phenomenon is happening this year for Super Bowl XLVI.

Part of Super Sunday

Super Bowl XLVI

Experts are saying that next month’s Super Bowl will most likely surpass the take for last year’s, and next year will do better than this year. Companies and their marketing agents strongly believe, to the tune of millions of dollars, that it is an honor and a privilege to be a part of Super Sunday.

Profitable, Too

But it’s not just a privilege; its lucrative as well, say experts such as Brian Steinberg, the television editor for Advertising Age. “It’s a huge investments but it’s also one of the best ways to maximize their time. Fewer TV properties have that reach thanks to DVR and the Web. The Super Bowl is increasing, rather than losing, its audience.”

And as long as that audience continues to drink, snack and continue to watch TV, there is no end in sight to the money that can be made at the Super Bowl.

Sold Out

NBC is the network which will be broadcasting the game on February 5th, from Indianapolis. NBC has already announced that there is no more time left for ads during the game itself, but there are still a few spots left during the pre-game show. Despite the fact that NBC has not publicly disclosed how much each spot costs, the Associated Press estimates the charge to advertisers is somewhere between $3.5 million and $4 million for each 30 second time slot. Just 20 years before a half-minute cost advertisers only $1 million or less.

BIG Audience

That amount of money, however, buys the ad-men the largest TV audience in the United States all year. Last year’s figure was 111 million Americans who were glued to the game, many of whom watched with fascination the tens of commercials which were broadcast during the time-outs and other game breaks.

“There’s nothing to compare it to. Maybe the Oscars or some of the music (awards) shows, but not really,” said Stephen Master, head of sports for Nielsen, which tracks viewership.

“The Super Bowl works for different kinds of companies. It’s a wonderful venue for companies with a new product since it builds brand awareness so quickly. But it also allows the ability to rebuild or to recast a brand,” said Tim Calkins, professor of marketing at Northwestern University.