G&R Game Changers: Social Media and Super Bowl Advertising

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A recent study by G&R, published in the Journal of Advertising Research, shows how social media helps advertisers improve the return they earn on their multi-million dollars investments

With the natural relationship between paid Super Bowl brand advertising and earned social-media conversations there is now a ‘golden window’ in which Super Bowl advertisers can amplify brand engagement.

Social Media has changed the game for Super Bowl advertisers. A recent study by communications research firm, G&R, shows that social media enables advertisers to multiply the efficiency of their advertising investment by increasing the number of people who see the advertising (reach), the number of times that a person sees the advertising (frequency), and how well an ad registers with a person (ad engagement).

Traditionally, running advertising on the Super Bowl has been for the young and for the strong. New companies looking to get noticed in a hurry and established companies seeking to communicate with large sections of their markets simultaneously have fronted the now $4.5 million per :30 ad costs because of the unique advertising opportunity that the Super Bowl presents. No other advertising venue delivers as large an audience, has more opportunity for water cooler and press replay, and associates the product with such an esteemed event. Plus, viewers pay additional attention to Super Bowl advertisements than they do the regular advertisement, as they search for the most entertaining spots and the regrettable but inevitable failures.

Now, advertisers can use social media to extend the benefits of Super Bowl advertising. In effect, social media enables Super Bowl advertisers to increase the amount of time that brand messages are accessible to the public and lodged in their thoughts and conversations. This leads to additional viewers beyond those who watch the telecast, more repeat viewing, and even stronger registration of the ad during the telecast itself.

The G&R study analyzed brand-related social media conversations occurring two weeks prior to and one week after game day and found that 89% of positive Super Bowl social media conversations took place during an 11-day window of opportunity (see Table 1.) The top 25% of brands based on pre-game positive social conversation scored 80% higher on in-game advertising engagement than the bottom 25% (see Table 2.) Brands in the top 25% based on advertising engagement generated almost 4 times the post-game positive social conversation volume than the bottom 25% (see Table 3.)

According to G&R President Scott Purvis, co-author of the study, “With the natural relationship between paid Super Bowl brand advertising and earned social-media conversations there is now a ‘golden window’ in which Super Bowl advertisers can amplify brand engagement via social media and online channels, all at attractive incremental costs.”

About the Study:

The full analysis, “How Digital Conversations Reinforce Super Bowl Advertising: The Power of Earned Media Drives Television Engagement,” was published in the winter edition (Volume 54, Number 4) of the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).

A summary of the article by the publisher can be found here: http://www.warc.com/LatestNews/News/Super_Bowl_adds_value_for_TV_advertisers.news?ID=34096

The full text version is available here: http://www.journalofadvertisingresearch.com/ArticleCenter/default.asp?ID=103440&Type=Article

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