64% of Super Bowl viewers are unable to connect a memorable ad to the brand it was advertising, according to research from research consultancy Communicus. They also found less than 20% of Super Bowl ads produce significant impact on the brand.
Their obvious but sometimes forgotten takeaway — entertainment alone is not enough.
What they recommended marketers focus on is mental availability. Byron Sharp popularized “mental availability” as “the probability that a buyer will notice, recognize and/or think of a brand in buying situations.”
In the pursuit of breaking through the clutter with a talked-about ad, marketers sometimes overlook the basics — having a clear link to a brand story and featuring memorable and distinctive brand assets so that viewers connect the ad to a particular brand.
This lesson applies far beyond the Super Bowl of course. But the high stakes of the Super Bowl puts this into particularly stark relief.
Media costs alone have spiked to $7.7 million for a 30-second spot in the Super Bowl (let alone all of the production costs and the surrounding program of an ad). While the viewing audience has only increased 300% since the start, ad rates have grown by 12,000%. For the cost of a 30-second ad in 2017, an advertiser could have bought a Super Bowl spot every year from 1967 to 1987.
Here are a few Super Bowl cartoons I’ve drawn over the years.
“Marketers’ Super Bowl Party“ January 2003
“Super Bowl Advertising“ February 2007
“The Social Super Bowl“ February 2012
“Super Bowl Advertising“ February 2013
“Real-Time Marketing“ February 2014
“Super Bowl Advertising“ February 2017