How To Do Super Bowl Commercials In 2020.

So you’re running a TV commercial during the Super Bowl? Do you advertise in the Yellow Pages too? I think that Tom Brady’s monologue during his appearance in the Hulu commercial says it all, “it’s time to say goodbye to TV as you know it.” With all of the streaming options and ability to pause, record and rewind live TV (remember when we couldn’t do that? Wow, I’m old!), do people really pay attention to TV commercials anymore? Are they worth the $5.6 million price tag? 

I watch Super Bowl commercials but don’t feel compelled to eat a Snickers just because the candy bar appears in a Super Bowl commercial (as entertaining as the commercial may or may not be). Nor would I get a Hulu subscription because of a Super Bowl commercial. I’ll use my brother’s account; thank you very much. 

Although I will admit that the effect of advertising on people is often subliminal, so I may find myself at a convenience store somewhere down the line craving a Snickers bar. Some research does seem to indicate that Super Bowl commercials do give companies better brand recognition. 

What’s The ROI of A Super Bowl Ad?

All of this begs the question, what is the ROI of a Super Bowl commercial? Gary Vaynerchuck likes to say, “what’s the ROI of your mother?” Meaning, that ROI is sometimes hard to quantify. I’ll give it a whirl, though. 

In 2015, Wix put NFL greats Terrell Owens, Emmitt Smith, and Brett Favre in their commercials. According to Fortune, they spent around $10 million on their commercials that year. Wix reported that it had increased its “revenue outlook for the year from $198 – $202 million to $200 million – $204 million (” Enough people remembered the commercial where Wix’s revenue increased. The caveat is that it increased by a relatively slim margin, and other factors could have been responsible for that increase.

Wix 2015 Super Bowl Commercial. Credit:

Do people pay attention to Super Bowl commercials? Yes. The same article by Fortune cites a study by an ad research firm that estimates that “80% of Super Bowl commercials do not boost sales or purchase intent (Fortune).” Do these commercials help drive revenue? No.

The same article cites another study by marketing Analytics agency, Adlucent. They show that “87% of viewers who watch Super Bowl ads are doing so solely for entertainment or social purposes, and only 6% watch to discover new brands, products, or services (” My verdict: I’ve been to Super Bowl parties where people bet on what kind of commercial would air next. Enough said. 

What are some alternatives to Super Bowl commercials? 

Gary Vaynerchuck likes to talk about how marketing is about putting your message where people’s attention is. Personally, I’m not inclined to think that it’s on their TV (even though everyone has a 50″ HD TV these days). 

Where is people’s attention? Younger generations spend hours watching YouTube videos, Instagram TV, and TikToks. People used to spend hours on an app that exclusively allowed six-second videos (you know which one I’m talking about, it rhymes with mine).

I remember listening to the 98.5, the Sports hub in the car one day (yes, I listen to the radio in the car). The hosts were talking about how their kids were watching YouTube celebrities on you guessed it, YouTube. They said, “our kids won’t watch real TV in the future!” Point is, getting Jake Paul or PewDiePie in your commercial may yield better results than Rob Lowe. 

Should Companies Air Super Bowl Ads?

Again, people are watching the commercials, so I think that the key is to integrate them with existing marketing campaigns. 

The Mr. Peanut commercial, for example. The ad debuted before the Super Bowl, and a teaser was “leaked” on Twitter before that. The campaign essentially chronicles Mr. Peanut’s funeral. According to Forbes, the “death of the peanut has been retweeted more than 25,000 times and has more than 100,000 likes (” The #RIP has also been trending across Twitter.

What’s more, Gary Vaynerchuck Tweeted out, “Tweet at me #Babynut.” That is influencer marketing at its finest right there! It’s also a perfect example of integrating a TV commercial with a marketing campaign. Great marketers tell a story and build up to an event, and this ad did exactly that.

While most marketers do not think that social media drives revenue in and of itself, it is a place where people are paying attention. People are not necessarily watching these commercials just for entertainment.  

Also, when any social media campaign is executed correctly, it tends to drive sales, so why wouldn’t you integrate TV with social campaigns like Planters did? 

The story got people retweeting and hashtagging about the commercial. I don’t know about you, but I was not Tweeting or hashtagging for any other commercials. Drops microphone.