After all of the money is spent and the game is over, the companies that have invested all of that time and cash into their Super Bowl commercials are left with one burning question: does advertising during the Super Bowl actually work?
While there is no concrete answer, the general consensus seems to be “Yes and No.”
Sure, there will be tons of polls on the internet and in print publications in the weeks following the game that present a general idea of how the public received your ad. However, these are going to be mixed and not really a good gauge of how successful the ad was. One publication or site may rate your ad as high as possible while another one may put it at the bottom of the barrel. The tricky things about these polls and publications that they are, for the most part, based on consumer preference and taste.
In terms of real numbers, we can get a much better gauge of how effective Super Bowl ads are in reflective sales. In a study conducted following the 2012 Super Bowl, it was discovered that many of the bigger companies that usually purchase Super Bowl air time saw an increase of 11% in the month following the game. Given the audience, this is a significant increase in the return on investment when compared to the money spent on a typical everyday TV ad.
In terms of formula, a Super Bowl ad is more prone to “work” when it has one of several staples that have been proven to create popular Super Bowl ads. Commercials featuring animals, celebrities, twist endings, and dramatic music are more likely to grab the attention of the audience.
Also, oddly enough, polls have showed that consumers far prefer commercials that don’t spend a lot of time talking up their product. Of course, only during the Super Bowl will any copy get away with pulling such a trick.