The Value of a Super Bowl Commercial in 2023

Mekanism
3 min readFeb 9

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Trends to expect during advertising’s biggest day of the year

Written by Brendan Gahan

At $7 million for 30 seconds of air time, the cost of a Super Bowl spot is more exorbitant than ever. The value of that spot remains stagnant. With viewership 10’s of millions of viewers below its all time high.

In the face of economic pressures, brands are being more strategic with their budgets.

So, what can we expect?

How do brands maximize their investment in the ‘big game’ and/or draft off it being one of the few collective media moments this country still shares?

I anticipate this manifesting in two big trends:

  • Super Bowl ads will play a larger role than just brand building this year.
  • Brands will be pulling back from Twitter and doubling down on TikTok.

More Than Brand Building

To maximize their dollars, brands are optimizing for consumer engagement more so than ever in the past. They’re pushing consumers to engage with, and learn about products, in a manner not often associated with the typical ‘brand building’ efforts of Super Bowl’s past.

We really saw this trend start to emerge in the wake of the Super Bowl last year.

Most notably was the Coinbase QR code spot. The ad featured a floating and colorful QR code bouncing around the screen, similar to a bouncing DVD logo.

Other, less publicized examples as well include activations from brands like Groupon, who partnered with ‘Gronk’ to give one lucky winner the chance to “party like a player”. But, you had to download the app to enter.

Planters Peanuts directed consumers to a ‘persoNUTality’ quiz designed to help visitors understand what Planter’s nut is right for them, then served up specific product recommendations.

Additionally, State Farm, who made their first Super Bowl TV investment in 2021, has shifted dollars to a TikTok Branded Hashtag Challenge.

TikTok Vs Twitter

Historically, The Super Bowl war room has been the domain of Twitter, but this year that’s changed.

Why?

In light of the heated debates surrounding Twitter, numerous brands have chosen to temporarily suspend their paid media investments. So much so that Twitter has seen a 71% decline in ad revenue.

For many brands, organic posting on Twitter will continue. However, the platform’s role as a centerpiece of the social media war room has been diminished.

And, who’s waiting in the wings to pick up the slack?

More than ever brands will be turning their focus to TikTok.

We’re already seeing brands do this. FedEx is doing a series of TikTok activations — drafting off the playoffs, instead of a super bowl spot. Similarly, Doritos is hosting a big TikTok dance contest. Additionally, Mekanism is doing a pre-game activation with Quaker via a TikTok activation with Eli Manning.

TikTok’s seamless content creation and engaging community makes it an ideal investment for brands looking to create a halo of awareness and engagement.

Why Is this Occurring?

Given the economic climate a lot of brands are pulling back ad spends. They’re scrutinizing budgets.

They need dollars to do more than just ‘build buzz’. A funny super bowl spot won’t cut it. They need their investment to drive wider engagement and ultimately sales.

With Twitter’s ad revenue declining due to suspended paid media investments, TikTok rises as the new Super Bowl social media hub, as brands focus on wider engagement and sales.

This year’s Super Bowl is a new playing field for brands, sponsors and viewers. With a new town hall for viewers and halftime sponsor, I wonder how we’ll see the commercial and entertainment value of the big game evolve.

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Mekanism

We are a fiercely entrepreneurial agency that blends creativity and performance to build great brands.