The Super Bowl of Marketing: Quantifying the Impact and Online Afterlife of TV Ads

2/3/11Follow @bvbigelow

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a football game. Other viewers go online afterward to replay commercials.

“In 2009, Nielsen estimated that Web traffic increased 63 percent for Super Bowl advertising after the game,” Corcoran said. After last year’s Super Bowl, Boston-based Visible Measures, an independent company that measures traffic for Internet video publishers, advertisers, and others, reported a number of insights, including:

—The 2010 Super Bowl ads have been viewed over 90 million times in social video, nearly equal to the TV audience.

—The ads spread a total of nearly 3,000 unique video placements across more than 30 video-sharing networks, generating more than 60,000 comments and 90,000 ratings.

—Socially-driven video placements accounted for more than 18 million views in total, more than 20 percent of the views tracked in the study.

Nowadays, Corcoran added, marketing executives also are pushing to get viewers to their Facebook pages during the Super Bowl in an effort to get people to talk about brand and content.

“We’ve done studies for some of our customers around their televised advertising,” said Covario’s Mann. “You can see when a spot runs on TV that it has a direct impact on search for certain words and phrases.” He offered several insights from Covario’s studies:

—Mann said he expected to see Web traffic spike on a customer’s website after broadcasting a commercial on TV. What he didn’t expect was much “shelf life,” as Web traffic remained high for two weeks after the TV broadcast, before declining back to baseline numbers.

—TV commercials about existing products did not trigger a major bump in the number of online searches. But advertisements for new products showed dramatic increases in the number of online searches.

—From studies of Web traffic triggered by advertising during the Super Bowl and Olympic Games, Mann said, “I could infer that large-scale events are good for launching new products, but not necessarily for reinforcing [consumer awareness of] existing products.”

—The bigger the commercial and the shorter the event [i.e. televised coverage of a football game versus World Cup soccer] —the bigger the impact.

These days, Mann said, “There is this clamor in this post-recession, cost-conscious world to no longer let the [marketing] media people at big companies operate in different silos. There’s an increasing demand to pull it all together, to find out what drives consumption, and what drives desire.”

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • http://market-by-numbers.com Brant Cooper

    Sounds like a lot of vanity metrics.