Each year Northwestern’s Kellogg School business school rates Super Bowl ads on how effectively they support a brand or its message. The Kellogg Business School Ad Review rating is based on their Adplan scoring methodology which is comprised of the following:
- Attention - does the ad engage the audience?
- Distinction - is the execution unique in delivery?
- Positioning - is the appropriate category represented and a strong benefit featured?
- Linkage - will the brand and benefit be remembered?
- Amplification - are viewers’ thoughts favorable?
- Net equity - is the ad consistent with the brand’s history and reputation?
In 2021, the Super Bowl reached 91.6 million viewers, with a 30-second ad costing $5.5 million, a drop from 2020’s $5.6 million price tag (source: Forbes).
Each brand that buys a Super Bowl ad has the opportunity to reach this significant audience, although audience reach depends on the placement during the game and whether or not half the people are paying attention (or are even in the room) during commercial time.
Ad clutter is also a consideration when buying an ad in during the Super Bowl. On average, the Super Bowl has 70 TV commercials accounting for about 45 minutes of commercial time. The best commercials are memorable. They receive a lot of buzz. The other 65-67 commercials in the game are really expensive spots hoping to get the reach needed to boost awareness for their brands.
At the end of the day, brands want to reach audiences at scale and be able to improve awareness of their brand in a meaningful way in which the audience expects within the context of the environment. The worst thing a brand can do is to run a bad ad that disappoints the audience.
In 2021, 91.6 million people watched the Super Bowl, which is a one-time, 3 ½ hour program. In the US, 227 million people play video games an average of 7.5 hours per week, which is more than double the Super Bowl on a weekly basis (Source: ESA Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry, 2021).
When you advertise in video games, the way to reach gamers in an uncluttered, authentic way, is to leverage intrinsic in-game advertising. The ads in intrinsic in-game advertising are placed inside the game by the game developers. These intrinsic creative ad units have the scalable, targeted reach needed by brands. Best yet, people aren’t multi-tasking while they are actively playing their video games. They are leaning into the gameplay. This is an incredibly important distinction from a lean back, TV-watching experience.
The Kellogg School of Business AdPlan approach is a fantastic, consistent, year-over-year analysis of the Super Bowl ads. Yet, not every campaign can be analyzed by the Kellogg School AdPlan approach. However, Comscore is an industry-trusted measurement approach to understand the value a brand receives from their advertising.
Below is a comparison of the AdPlan approach to the components measured by Comscore. Included in this analysis are the results from 14 brand campaigns within Frameplay across multiple verticals including CPG, automotive, entertainment, QSR, insurance, technology, retail, and financial services.
As you can see from the data, brands can have more than double the reach of the Super Bowl and have incredible awareness results by reaching consumers who are playing their own games. It’s so fun to see the ads in video games as they make playing the game more realistic and exciting, just like in the Super Bowl! Brands, it’s time to get in the (video) game!