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Not watching the Super Bowl

Not watching the Super Bowl

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Back story: My girlfriend and I are moving in together, but schedules only align to make the move happen on Super Bowl Sunday. This is an interesting thought experiment as I don’t think I’ve missed the Super Bowl in the previous 20+ years.


When was the last time that you didn’t watch the Super Bowl? Like clockwork, marketing dollars rain down around the NFL mega production. The cost of a Super Bowl commercial in 2013 is $4 million, up from $3.5 million last year, for a 30 second ad spot. Solely as an aggregated audience, a Super Bowl ad cost ~$133,333 per second of engagement, discounting mass synchronizing consumers with a branded message. The current cost of mobile marketing is pennies per second.

Will not watching the Super Bowl in real-time and having to asking a room full of people to shush to watch commercials matter to tech industry? Even though the broadcast has the potential of reaching 1 billion people world wide, Facebook touts this in their marketing every day. All the commercials will be online within minutes to watch at anytime on the highest ranked SEO media properties. Twitter positioned themselves to media companies as having a goal of being the second screen, and I’m sure they’ll be plenty of infographics comparing record tweet volumes to commercial reactions. Qualcomm, who owns a Qualcomm Stadium, home of Super Bowl XXXII, is making a mobile announcement with tie-ins to the new Star Trek movie. Even mobile smartphone maker RIM is attempting to buy back their audience promoting it’s new Blackberry 10 operation system.


Playing in the Super Bowl will always get you a steak dinner, but does purchasing a Super Bowl ad still bring home the bacon? Is being the all time top Super Bowl advertiser still a badge of honor to Anheuser-Busch? Advertising giant Google last year bought a Super Bowl commercial out of their experimental budget to understand the effects. I find myself debating the causation between which ad experience performs better, a personalized experience on your mobile phone or the shared experience of TV watched by many people at once. The stakes are so large to measure something that frankly I hope it’s a blowout by the 49ers and I missed a super boring game.

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