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Would you spend $2.7 million on one ad?

Kelly Coffey
Vail, CO, Colorado

You may have spent Sunday gathered in a friend’s living room noshing on ring dings and watching the Giants and Patriots play in the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is unique among television shows in that viewers enjoy watching the commercials as much as they enjoy watching the game. As a result, advertisers have stepped up their creativity, trying to top each other year after year. For marketers, the Super Bowl is now the Super Bowl of Advertising.

Most of us don’t work for companies with multi-million dollar marketing budgets. But even if you had $2.7 million to spend (the average cost of one 30-second Super Bowl ad this year), would buying an ad for the big game be worth it?

Super Bowl ads might be out of the question, but we all have come across big-ticket marketing opportunities: a full-page ad in the Vail Daily, a title sponsorship for a popular event. The question: Are big-ticket marketing items worth it?



The answer: It depends.

Like any marketing expense, you need to study the big-ticket items based on their investment value. If you spend $100 on an ad but only get $75 worth of business from it, you lost money. Will those big-ticket marketing opportunities make you money?



Will you reach your target market, or are you paying too much to reach people who won’t become your customers? Super Bowl advertisers seek out a general audience. They’re companies that sell products for general consumption: cars, beer, shoes, fast food.

Can your company handle the extra business? Assuming that the big-ticket marketing item becomes a success, do you have the resources to follow up on every lead? Will you be able to distribute all the extra goods? Super Bowl advertisers are global companies that know they can deliver on all the extra business they expect to receive from their ads.

Are you in a position to invest in building your brand for long-term sales success, or do you need to spur extra sales right away? Super Bowl ads build brands. Never do you see a “buy now” call to action in those highly creative spots. They’re meant to make people aware of their products and give their brands an image.



Is that money best spent on that one big-ticket item, or spread around in smaller marketing opportunities? You always must think of each marketing expense in the context of your entire marketing plan. Always weigh one opportunity against all the others.

Spending $2.7 million for one ad is worth every penny to the companies that buy Super Bowl ads. Big-ticket marketing items certainly have their place in marketing plans. If you went through the above questions and still think your big-ticket opportunity stacks up, consider adding the local equivalent of a Super Bowl ad to your marketing plan.

Kelly Coffey is the founder of Harebrained Marketing, a firm that specializes in connecting local businesses with local customers. Reach him at Kelly@harebrainedmarketing.com or (970) 926-0888. For more marketing tips, resources, and to sign up for his newsletter, visit http://www.harebrainedmarketing.com.


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