Tim Calkins and I wrote an article a few years back for Advertising Age about not overemphasizing ROI as the single measure of an ad’s success. While we recognize ROI can be one useful measure of success, our article was provoked by the difficulty we saw in trying to quantify Super Bowl success. In particular, we argued the lucrative price of a Super Bowl buy was not just about the potential 95+ million eyeballs watching the advertisement at the time of the execution…it was much more than that. The Super Bowl was about generating pre-game buzz, inspiring post-game water cooler banter the following Monday, and consumers “googling” or “youtubing” to watch their favorite advertisements again and again. At the same time, the posting of advertisements online after the game allows companies to track the number of visits and views post-game (or even pre-game for those who have posted already, such as CareerBuilder.com).
The question I would like to raise to our readers is how might we attempt to triangulate on Super Bowl impact. I’m not ready to say that we can capture the elusive Super Bowl ROI beast, but we might be able to get some sense, empirically, about the relative effectiveness of spots beyond simply the eyeballs gazing at the time of execution. And, on a related point, what do you think are the dangers/advantages of these additional metrics? I have a lot of ideas on these topics, but I thought it would be fun to throw this out and see your responses first!
– Derek Rucker