Super Bowl 50 Advertising Sells-Out at Record Nearly $5 Million for :30; What Can Advertisers Expect in Return?

Over 3/4 of Super Bowl Ad Campaigns Fail, Communicus Finds

TUCSON, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Communicus, the research-based advertising consultancy with decades of
experience measuring and diagnosing billions of dollars in placed
advertising, has evaluated the effectiveness of over 150 Super Bowl
commercials between 2011 and 2015. Advertisers who have invested the $5
million – or more, for those who’ve bought longer lengths – are eagerly
anticipating the reactions to their spots.

For those who hope to build their brands on the basis of the buy,
Communicus data from the past four Super Bowls suggests that the odds
are stacked against them – only one in five commercials produces any
meaningful movement for the brand on future purchase intentions or other
markers of brand health.

As the Super Bowl approaches, key takeaways for winning campaigns

  • Although the audience is large and attentive, most advertisers would
    attain far higher awareness if they invested their $5mm on a
    cross-platform campaign that included multiple video exposures and
    digital banner ads. The price is simply too high and the clutter too
    great for the buy to offer efficiencies.
  • Most advertisers cannot expect to change minds about their brand with
    just a single, albeit high profile, exposure. The odds of success are
    better for advertisers who have something truly new to say, as opposed
    to those who are striving to reinforce or change an existing brand
  • Pre-game activations are a best practice to ensure that the commercial
    is noticed and that the brand’s message penetrates. Activations that
    offer the consumer a reward for participating, e.g., the chance to win
    a prize, are more effective than those that simply encourage
    commercial views or shares. Additionally, any commercial concept
    should tie to the brand platform vs. simple entertainment value. In
    2015, effective integrated campaigns included the Mercedes #TheBigRace
    contest, McDonald’s Pay with Lovin’ promotion, Wix #ItsThatEasy
    contest and Nissan with its #WithDad video series. In contrast,
    GoDaddy, Doritos and Budweiser generated substantial pre-game
    publicity that did not impact on brand health.
  • Advertisers are advised to pre-release their commercials, ideally with
    either paid posts or publicity to draw viewers’ attention to the spot.
    In recent years, those who pre-released their spots achieved, on
    average 15% higher branded awareness.

Study Methodology

For the fifth year, Communicus will conduct a research study providing
advertisers with insights on how every Super Bowl ad performs on both
engagement and persuasion. Interviewing the same 3,000 consumers
pre and post-event, Communicus isolates the changes in brand preference
and behaviors that occur as a result of advertising engagement.

In recognition of the importance of all of the tactics that advertisers
employ within their Super Bowl advertising programs, the study has been
expanded to encompass how the brand’s entire effort, including
publicity, teasers, contests and pre-releases works together. While most
Super Bowl analyses look only at the commercial or online
activity, the Communicus study provides metrics on how they amplify each
other to produce results for the brand.

Results of this study will be announced following the 2016 Super Bowl.
For more on Communicus Super Bowl advertising research findings, go to

About Communicus, Inc.

Communicus is an advertising research firm specializing in integrated
campaign measurement solutions that isolate the impact of advertising
and other marketplace factors on brands. For over 50 years, Communicus
has employed a unique and unparalleled research method that provides
Fortune 100 advertisers like ConAgra Foods, MillerCoors, Wrigley and HP
with the competitive advantage that emerges from a more complete
understanding of how consumers are engaging with and impacted by
advertising and integrated marketing campaigns. Communicus provides
insights on the effectiveness and synergies between both traditional
advertising and non-traditional online and offline communication
platforms. Further to brand building, Communicus provides research-based
insights that help advertisers develop strategic platforms and creative
strategies that will succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. To
learn more about the Communicus difference, visit


For Communicus
Ann Keeling, 513-381-3248