Social Ads complement Super Bowl TV Advertising Strike Social

Social Ads Complement Super Bowl TV Advertising


The Super Bowl, America’s biggest sporting event, brings together the top two NFL teams in front of hundreds of millions of spectators. But it’s not just NFL enthusiasts who tune in to watch the game. On the other side of the couch, casual viewers eagerly await the opportunity to tweet, upload, and share the funniest and most creative Super Bowl social ads they witness.

Super Bowl and Social Media

Whether a die-hard fan or just Super Bowl commercial gazing, the event unites people from all walks of life. Advertisers recognize this opportunity, spend months preparing to flex their creative muscles, and throw in millions of advertising dollars to showcase their best ads during the big game.

Big brands invest all-in in TV advertising during the Super Bowl weekend. Based on the recent Nielsen report, with an estimated 113 million viewers tuning in to this year’s Super Bowl LVII, representing a 12% increase from last year, advertisers are eager to get their message to as many eyes as possible.

However, the cost of Super Bowl advertising has continued to rise year after year, with 2023’s average ad cost reaching $7 million, an 8% increase from last year’s $6.5 million. At such high costs, advertisers must ensure their ad messaging are compelling, memorable, and resonate with their target audience. This begs the question: are advertisers getting their money’s worth?

Let’s explore and analyze the effectiveness of Super Bowl advertising across major social networks on both organic and paid efforts during game day weekend.

As brands transition their brand presence from living room audiences to multi-screen viewers, social networks with massive video users become the go-to play in every advertiser’s playbook. Super Bowl Advertising is more than wallet competition. It is a chance to make an impact and positive influence on consumers. Now that the Vince Lombardi Trophy has been raised let’s check how the video ad fared well on social media platforms.

USA Today recently released the 2023 Super Bowl ad rankings using their ad meter, and our team couldn’t wait to dig into the numbers. These stats were taken just over a week after the year’s biggest sports event. The results were as exciting as a touchdown in overtime. 

  • Five of the top ten brands went all-out with 60-second video ads, with three going higher or equal to 90 seconds, while the rest settled for a shorter 30-second clip.
  • Seven of the top 10 videos on YouTube have garnered over a million views, with T-Mobile’s “Neighborly” leading the pack with a whopping 56 million views.
  • Disney’s “Disney 100 Special Look” surpassed the one million video view milestone on Facebook, garnering 4.2 million views and counting.
  • On Instagram Reels, the aggregate video views of Super Bowl video ads were 250%+ higher than Facebook video posts.
  • Surprisingly, only four of the top ten brands have posted their Super Bowl video ads on TikTok. But PopCorners’ “Breaking Good” TikTok video ad gained massive traction, with over 500k likes and 5.1 million views.

Integrating social ads into Super Bowl marketing strategies has effectively complemented traditional TV promotions. Platforms such as YouTube, Instagram Reels, and TikTok have attracted audiences beyond the NFL fanbase, leading to increased exposure and engagement. Brand adoption of social ads has shown great success and impact post-Super Bowl weekend. This approach highlights the need for an integrated strategy beyond traditional channels.

Related article: YouTube vs. Instagram vs. Meta Statistics: Who Wears the Social Media Crown

Super Bowl Social Ad Costs, Strike Social Numbers

The Super Bowl weekend can be viewed as the ultimate Q4-cost-spike compressed into three days of football frenzy. Advertising costs skyrocketed during the event due to increased demand for advertising space. Let’s analyze ad cost trends by comparing the average CPM during the 2023 Super Bowl weekend with the average monthly advertising spend for February 2023.

Social Ad Costs Trend During the Super Bowl Weekend

Let’s start with TikTok. Our data showed that TikTok’s CPM campaigns averaged 15% more ad cost during Super Bowl weekend than the rest of the month. This could be due to the competition created by small businesses and brands that have succeeded on the platform, driving up demand and cost. State Farm’s decision to focus on TikTok instead of linear advertising is a great example. In addition, PopCorners’ “Breaking Good” campaign reached its target audience and sparked engagement from half a million TikTok users

Checking out our Meta setup, Facebook and Instagram CPM campaigns have increased by 2% and 6% during the Super Bowl weekend.  Facebook video content can be found on your feed, while Instagram has a fancy new placement called Reels.  Reels are gaining immense traction among users and advertisers despite being a recent addition to the platform. According to Forrester.com, 30% of Instagram app usage is from Reels. This trend will continue as more users shift their viewing habits from TikTok to Instagram.

The upswing in ad costs for social ads during the Super Bowl weekend on YouTube is no surprise. Advertisers are aware of the influence of YouTube streaming in targeting multi-screen NFL viewers during this festive occasion. It’s where fans flock to watch the game, reminisce about iconic halftime ads, or relive the thrill of a replay. According to Comscore, YouTube reached an impressive 77% of the adult audience for Super Bowl LVI, edging out TV’s 72%. When reaching social media viewers, brands know that YouTube ads are their credible MVPs.

Related article: Will the Convergence of Linear and Connected TV Merge Media Buying Team?

Tentpole Marketing Should Look into the Power of Social Ads

Casual viewers on their couches, at restaurants, or watch parties who may be unfamiliar with all football rules. As viewers tune in to catch the game, they eagerly anticipate the release of the latest Super Bowl social ads. The popularity of these ads during the game has led to fierce competition among brands to get the best ad spot. Social ads on platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Meta have become preferred destinations for advertisers to complement linear TV ads and boost reach to a massive audience.

With data showing a rise in ad costs and a shift towards vertical video formats like Reels and TikTok, brands must continue to innovate and adapt their social ad strategies. Running an always-on campaign or longer flight dates even out sudden spikes in costs and still achieving campaign goals efficiently. As the Super Bowl continues to be a massive behavioral shift, advertisers must harness the power of social ads to create impactful, lasting, and effective Super Bowl social ads.

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