Super Bowl’s Biggest Online Advertisers: Did They Run TV Commercials?

Last night’s Super Bowl thrilled audiences worldwide, from the Patriots’ unprecedented fourth-quarter comeback to a historic first-time-ever overtime to Lady Gaga’s dramatic halftime entrance and exit. At Goodway, we have Patriots fanatics and Falcons supporters — and plenty of employees who don’t follow either team — but as marketing professionals all of us care about the ads. Of course, we watched the commercials and picked our favorites, but we also wanted to know who the Super Bowl’s biggest online advertisers were yesterday. Did Super Bowl advertisers support their TV spots with digital spending? We checked leading display and mobile intelligence Pathmatics’ estimated digital spending this morning and found that seven of the top digital advertisers also purchased a traditional TV commercial during the big game. Based on the data, TurboTax, Honda, Procter & Gamble, T-Mobile, Google, 20th Century Fox (Logan trailer), and Ford all supplemented their “big ticket” television ads with digital campaigns. Of these seven, all supported their TV spots with banner and video ads except Logan, which only advertised digitally using banners. What’s more, among the six advertisers that ran supporting video ads, all included the original Super Bowl ad in their creative mix, often in addition to other video spots. It’s a curious move on 20th Century Fox’s part to not advertise with online video because trailers are typically the main way to advertise a movie. Perhaps the Super Bowl spot used the majority of 20th Century Fox’s marketing budget, leaving too little left for a digital video campaign? Another possibility here is that 20th Century Fox released the ad as a teaser and will ramp up digital spending closer to the movie’s release in early March. Either way, it feels like a missed opportunity to build on the excitement of the trailer and further promote the movie. What about the advertisers that spent online leading up to and following the Super Bowl but were not among the live commercials broadcast in the big game? The NBA, Geico and CBS were all big spenders yesterday. The NBA spent an estimated $1.2 million on banners and videos across all devices. It makes sense that the organization would want to stay top of mind but not step on the NFL’s toes and advertise during the game. Geico also pursued a cross-device advertising strategy, featuring ads from its various campaigns. Perhaps Geico didn’t feel the need to debut a new campaign during the Super Bowl because of their robust year-round strategy and wide brand recognition. Finally, CBS advertised heavily yesterday, promoting a variety of shows. It hosted the Super Bowl last year and likely didn’t want to give a rival network any money; so avoiding the game seems like the right play. Whether you are a Super Bowl advertiser or not, we always recommend an omnichannel strategy. Today’s consumers are still watching linear TV for live events like the Super Bowl, but they are also dividing their attention among other devices and channels, particularly online and mobile. A holistic media mix should incorporate all channels to reach your audience wherever they are watching. To learn more about how you can get in the game with digital advertising, contact us today.