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Super Bowl adverts, value and the role of PR

Last weekend saw an international artist leaping off a stadium, pyrotechnics accompanied with all manner of innovative choreography; and oh yes two teams vying for the Super Bowl trophy. However in addition to Lady Gaga’s spectacular performance it was the adverts, all at 30 second intervals that always gain the most attention.

Over 100 million pairs of eyes reportedly watched the game, and with spending topping an estimated $14.1 billion this year, this is no cheap option when a company looks to make its name known to such a wide audience. Yet what value do these very lucrative advertisement spots add to the business of PR?

It is no doubt that advertising companies are profiting from companies scrambling and pitching to get a spot and essentially the attention of a nation on something other than Trump politics and turmoil in the Middle East; how do we measure the improvement (or lack thereof) that these adverts have on the relationship between the company and it’s public?

It has been reported Budweiser did not seem to sell a significantly larger proportion of beer this year compared to last year accounting for 80% of social media beer discussion – t and even found themselves on the heels of a possible boycott. One could argue that this was due in part to selling to a set of stakeholders who are probably already drinking a Budweiser as they watched the game….

The value of exposure to new audiences alike can be seen in the very fact that according to CNBC, the NFL pays to produce the main show but does not pay the main performer – and yet still manages to attract the biggest names in the business from Beyoncé, Coldplay, Madonna, Bruno Mars, and Katy Perry to name but a few. Indeed Lady Gaga herself saw her own sales increase by a reported 1000% in the wake of her acrobatics this year.

So clearly in marketing terms, the very fact that a product or artist is in the homes and bars of millions of Americans, does have some direct impact with relevant stakeholders – however regarding PR does this produce a long term sustainability or can it be attributed to be more of a flash-in-the-pan phenomenon?

Although many questions remain unanswered, one thing is abundantly especially following Grammy weekend is that an event is powerful. It can be the catalyst for a long term, strategic PR campaign between a person/organization/company with its audiences if harnessed well.

If there is no follow through on the works of the advertisers and the sales generates by marketers – the cost of such advertisement is not entirely justifiable. This is the key space that PR occupies. It keeps the product/service/person in the minds of those who are interested beyond a popular gathering in order to maximize its reach, and this consistency can be argued to be just as valuable….

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Catherine Wanjiku

Policy Officer at CIPR Twitter: @CWanjiku1

Posted in Editor's Picks, Marketing, Public Relations

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