Every year advertising aficionados tune into Super Bowl Sunday, and it’s not because they have a keen interest in American football. It is the advertisement campaigns that drive their curiosity. Growing up in Canada, a close neighbour to this American football spectacle, coverage of the event was everywhere. It’s no wonder brands wanted in; their name would be plastered on media coverage leading up to and after the game. If you couldn’t guess by now, I was the one watching the Super Bowl just to check out which ad was best, refilling the nacho plate when the game was on…

Leading up to the Super Bowl XLVII this past Sunday, it was interesting to see that coverage of the event was reported by multiple UK news outlets, the Telegraph, the Independent, Marketing Week UK and so on. By advertising during the game, these companies are not only increasing brand awareness in North America, but across the pond as well.

Now, in order to truly understand how much goes into these advertisement campaigns, one must understand the cost of airtime during the game. It costs about $4 million USD to advertise for a quick 30 seconds during the Super Bowl breaks (Wall Street Journal). Do keep in mind that the most buzz-worthy ads are a minute to three minutes long. And don’t forget, it can cost up to $5 million USD to create a ‘blockbuster’ ad to be aired during the Super Bowl. That’s not cheap, an investment in ad spend if I can say so…

So is all of this hype worth it?

Media coverage of the Super Bowl begins weeks before the event and to create hype, brands that have bought airtime have introduced ‘teaser ads.’ An ad for an ad. A 30 second clip advertising their ad that will be aired on Super Bowl Sunday. Brands want to create buzz, they want people to get on their mobile phones, Tweet about what is to come, post the teaser on their Facebook page, and ultimately, tune in on Sunday to watch the ad in full.

Bud Light, a quintessentially American beer brand, created teaser ads that were meant to elicit hype through celebrity endorsement. Arnold Schwarzenegger playing table tennis? Don Cheadle with a llama? The sheer oddity will cause one to hit play if these teasers came up on your Facebook or Twitter feed.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Teaser Ad

Don Cheadle Teaser Ad

Did these teaser ads make you want to see the final piece? Here is the final clip!

Bud Light Super Bowl Ad 2014

This ad doesn’t cut it for me. It seems to be a cluster of celebrity names, perhaps trying too hard to create awareness with celebrity endorsement. But perhaps this is every beer drinking guys dream?

My favourite ad aired during the Super Bowl happened to be one that was popular with the ladies, with most social media buzz coming from women. Admittedly, I too like puppies and stories with a happy ending.

Budweiser, another American beer brand, created a story line centred on the friendship between a pup and a horse. With 40 million YouTube hits, it has reached viral status. To me, this is a sign of brand awareness, success and a strong reason why advertising during the Super Bowl could be a good investment if the ad is well received! Watch it here:

Budweiser Super Bowl Ad 2014

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