Three weeks ago (doesn’t it somehow seem longer?) the Super Bowl attracted a record amount of television viewers (and oddly the largest game crowd in Super Bowl history as well). As reported in Ad Age last week the cost for a 30 second spot on ABC TV during the Oscars was $ 1,700,000 http://bit.ly/ekr21s . The Oscar audience will likely be near 43 million. This year’s Super Bowl set the all time record with a reported average of 111 million viewers with overall viewers more than 160 million http://bit.ly/i78n3Z . The reported cost for a 2011 Super Bowl 30 second spot began at $ 3,000,000.
Just doing simple arithmetic it seems to me that the Oscar audience was 40% smaller and yet the cost was just only 60% less. I am here to ask why? Do people look forward to Oscar ads more than Super Bowl ads? I think not. Are they more engaged with those ads when they run? Again – I don’t think so but please correct me if you think I am mistaken.
$ 1,700,000 is still a great deal of money where I come from. I’ve questioned why advertisers would spend $ 3,000,000 for a Super Bowl 30 second spot. I am completely perplexed why an advertiser would spend even MORE per minute for an Oscar spot. And before you fire off a reply to me that the audience is not the same and more upscale for the Oscars than it is for the Super Bowl, I want you to keep in mind what I had to say about viewer engagement with Oscar ads as opposed to Super Bowl ads.
How much talk around the water cooler will there be on Monday after the Oscars? Will people be going online after the Oscars to view the ads they missed or review the ones they wanted to see again? The point is that Super Bowl ads often live on after the event and they can be provocative, memorable and ground-breaking – even if this year’s lineup fell short. I don’t feel the same way about Oscar ads do you?
Even though I always enjoy the Oscars, I look at commercial breaks as great opportunities to go to the bathroom or get something to eat or drink. As opposed to Super Bowl ads for which I often have to cross my legs and make sure everyone stays quiet so I can get the full effect.