Who Wants Some Football with Their Commercials?

Super Bowl LIII was the culmination of the 2018-2019 National Football League season. It was a hard fought game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams with the Patriots winning their sixth Super Bowl. Although the game was entertaining, a significant number of people tuned in just for the ads.

Prior to the Super Bowl, the American Marketing Association published some interesting statistics about the big game. According to the AMA article, the price for a 30 second advertisement was more than $5 million. In 2018, 114 million people watched the Super Bowl, which represents about a third of the United States population. About 25% of surveyed Super Bowl viewers consider the commercials to be the most important part of the game.

At first impression, these statistics convey that only a select group of companies are capable of taking advantage of the Super Bowl platform to promote their goods or services. But for trademark owners the statistics should represent something more. These statistics are the type of information trademark owners need to collect to establish consumer recognition of their brands for purposes of secondary meaning and to established the strength of their mark.

Spending $5 million on a commercial is a significant number, but if it reaches only a relatively small number of prospective purchasers then its significance decreases. Context is key when assessing secondary meaning and strength. As a trademark owner, you should track not only advertising spend but also advertising reach. Internet advertising makes this easy by collecting impression statistics, but this type of data should be collected for other forms of advertising as well.

If you watched the Super Bowl for the commercials, you can see who the winners and losers were by checking out the USA Today Ad Meter. You can even exercise your Super Bowl viewer right and weigh in with you opinion.