January 27, 2009
A smaller and cheaper Super Bowl?
It's almost Super Bowl weekend. I always get excited as the big weekend approaches. For my friends, the Super Bowl is like the Stanley Cup Playoffs are for me, albeit much shorter and somewhat less violent. For me and others in the online marketing sector, the Super Bowl is a barometer on the creativity and intensity of marketing and advertising. This year, the big game happens in Tampa, Florida. I ought to be floating in a cloud of anticipation but am somehow feeling a bit less buoyant this year. As it turns out, so are the sponsors, advertisers and party-organizers. An article in today's Toronto Star notes that Price Waterhouse Cooper estimates the ad and party spend is going to be down by approximately 1/4 this year. Pegged at about $150 million, this year's Super Bowl will likely generate $50 million less in ad-spend and corporate sponsorship than the two previous Super Bowls in Phoenix and Miami. Annual parties held by Sports Illustrated and Playboy have been canceled for financial reasons and the pay-per-view Lingerie Bowl has been canned due to a lack of venue. Maxim Magazine's party is said to be an indefinite maybe. The Super Bowl is the ultimate in American advertising, marketing and corporate glad handing. The most creative and memorable TV commercials are aired on the Super Bowl. In the Internet marketing community, tie-ins between televised advertising and online marketing are seen as an indicator of how competently corporate America is using the Internet to move its messages. It will be an interesting weekend though not necessarily for the reasons we might be excited about. The game itself should be good with an underdog vs. the steamroller story worthy of a Hollywood script. On the sidelines this year however is the massive ad-spend that makes the Super Bowl most interesting to digital marketers.