The countdown to Super Bowl XLIX has begun. Today is the day where football fans and non-fans alike gather around the largest TV they can possibly find to devour thousands of calories worth of pizza, wings, and beer while watching masked men smash into each other and major brands blow millions on ads of questionable business and entertainment value.
A 30 second ad during Super Bowl XLIX is reported to cost $4.5 million dollars. That’s $150,000 per second! Blink… there goes a few million dollars—more than some small businesses do in revenue for an entire year!
Are Super Bowl ads worth it?
People have been trying to answer that question for years—with limited levels of success. Imagine for a second that your small home service company is now a $100 million operation. Would you blow 4.5% of your revenue on a Super Bowl ad?
Do you know what I’d do instead? I’d follow Richard Branson’s lead and market my business “The Virgin Way.”
In case you’re not familiar with Virgin’s approach to marketing, let me give you the executive summary. When Virgin Atlantic was just getting started, they didn’t have the marketing budget to compete with their larger rivals via traditional advertising channels like Television. They couldn’t afford to spend millions each month to tell the world how great they were, so they didn’t try.
Instead, they decided to sink the bulk of their limited resources into providing customers with tangible product and service benefits. They invested their limited funds to create features and benefits their customers would actually enjoy and then let their customers spread the word on their behalf. Which do you think would be a more powerful way to grow your business—the (ongoing) word of mouth marketing from actual customers raving about how great you or a multimillion dollar, “blink and you’ve missed it” TV ad during the Super Bowl?
I’d choose the former all… day… long.
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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