2012 Super Bowl ROI Analysis

The Super Bowl has long been known as the ultimate competitive match, but over time it has evolved from being just a football game to a showdown of the best advertising ideas, creative and celebrity endorsement. This year’s game, Super Bowl XLVI, saw the greatest turnout of automotive advertisers since the industry collapsed in 2008 and 2009. Some advertisers were anticipated to return and others participated for the first time. With 20 in-game spots and a total of nearly 21 minutes of advertising, the auto industry brought humor, drama, and entertainment to the game like never before.

In the weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLVI, many advertisers made a bold move from previous years by leaking teasers online, some even released full-length and extended versions of their spots. Viewers and media spread the word about their favorite ads and reactions through social media. Only a handful of advertisers refrained from posting teasers online prior to the game in hopes of building anticipation for the in-game spot.

Super Bowl viewership is up from last year. Nielsen Co. reported an estimated 111.3 million people watched the Giants-Patriots game in full, compared to the estimated 111 million reported for last year’s game. Combine that viewership with the amount of ad previews and post-game views from online video (some advertisers had already recorded nearly 17 million views on YouTube alone on the Monday following the game), proving this annual mass media event sustains extensive reach, pulls consumers in and engages them directly with the advertisers.

This alignment carries a hefty price tag, and it’s critical for advertisers to measure the true return on investments (ROI). Jumpstart Automotive Media performed its third annual study that looks at automotive Super Bowl advertisers and measures the impact on their overall share of automotive shoppers following their Super Bowl spot. The study examines immediate results in the days following the Big Game, as well as three weeks post-game, which provides insight into which advertisers have a lasting impact and the estimated price per share of shopper gained. This study provides a different look at ROI by utilizing third-party automotive website shopper data to gauge how ads resonate with consumers, and if the ads brought on initial and lasting consideration of the vehicles that were advertised in the game.


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