Marketing and Procurement: An Effective Partnership for the Super Bowl

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Aavni Piparsania, of GEP.

As is tradition, the Super Bowl has sparked its annual conversation about advertising and the exorbitant fees paid by brands for a mere 30 seconds of viewers’ attention. At a time when so much of traditional marketing spend is under scrutiny in light of more cost-effective online channels, the Super Bowl fees appear especially excessive. This article explores why marketers continue to do everything in their power to ensure they aren’t left out of the conversation, and how procurement can ensure that it’s still money well spent.

This year’s advertisements have garnered the hefty price tag of $5 million for each 30 second spot. This is just the cost of the network’s ad time and doesn’t include the costs associated with creative conception, production, celebrity endorsers, music licenses and the overall campaign leading up to the Super Bowl. Market experts estimate that the total cost of a Super Bowl campaign is closer to $30 million. So what drives marketers to spend so many of their valuable marketing dollars for just 30 seconds?

The answer seems simple — marketers are buying consumer consideration. The Super Bowl provides a uniquely extensive reach that almost guarantees more than 114 million viewers in just one evening. This results in media fees that are only $0.04 per viewer. Additionally, extensive media coverage of the Super Bowl advertisements pre- and post-game ensures that the participating brands are top of mind. Yet it is difficult to determine how effective the advertisements are, as various studies offer contradictory viewpoints. While some claim brands that advertise in the Super Bowl see an average sales uplift of over 11%, others claim that 80% of Super Bowl ads have no effect on purchase or purchase intent. Despite skyrocketing prices and a shift away from television, there are still plenty of marketers who appreciate the traditional Super Bowl ad.

The high profile of the Super Bowl ad suggests that there is scope to leverage procurement’s perspective. They can help focus on value generation as marketers consider their options for media planning, production and promotions. For established brands and regular participants, there is a fear that opting out and facing a potential decline in sales is too large of a risk, while for new and upcoming brands, there is a raw eagerness to join the prestigious Super Bowl ad club. Procurement should recognize that opting out of participating is not an option for these companies; instead, they should focus on understanding the campaign’s objectives, maximizing impact and driving process efficiencies.

Procurement and marketing can work on a strategic, integrated approach when it comes to the selection of partners for the Super Bowl. Procurement can help ensure that there is an effective alignment on quality, creativity and value, which is especially important for new entrants. Every year, eight to 10 new marketers join the Super Bowl, as industry wisdom suggests that ad campaigns for lesser-known products have a better chance of seeing a sales impact than established brands. Selecting the right partners for creative conception and production, optimizing media purchases for both television and digital channels and generating high amounts of PR buzz are just a few steps that procurement can lend a hand in to amplify this impact.

Ultimately, companies are still keen to participate in the Super Bowl media blitz and there are various intangible benefits to increasing awareness. Both marketing and procurement should recognize that a partnership will help drive efficiencies and optimize the return on investment. Together, they can maximize value and ensure that the enormous fee for participation is worth it.

For more interesting thinking on procurement, visit the GEP Knowledge Bank.

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