Are Social Media Campaigns Helping or Replacing Super Bowl Advertisements?

In past years the Super Bowl has become the mecca for companies to advertise their products. Whatever the cost of an advertisement was, companies are willing to pay. For Super Bowl XLVII companies are paying roughly $4 million dollars for 30 seconds of airtime. Because of high costs, some companies are utilizing social media in addition to their on-air commercial time to gain more impressions.

According to the Washington Post the price of Super Bowl advertisements has increased $300,000 since 2012. With the average 30 second ad running up to a cost of $4 million dollars – companies want an excellent ROI. In order to gain more impressions that the on-air Super Bowl advertisements will provide, companies have turned to social media. A majority of research reveals, and top level executives support, that, “unveiling the ads in the weeks before kickoff gives an advertiser the abiltity to have ‘a much longer conversation’ with consumers.” (Ad Age) Two examples of companies making the “social media push” are:


  • Coca-Cola utilized Facebook to push out their advertisement on Youtube where viewers are offered the chance to choose which team will win the “chase across the desert”. Users can choose from the cowboys, showgirls, or bandlanders. The commercial has over one million views with a few days until it airs on prime time.
  • Coca-Cola’s YouTube Voting Page


  • Audi launched a social media campaign linking viewers to their advertisement on Youtube. Viewers then were given the opportunity to vote for the ending that they want to see on Sunday. With two days until Audi’s Super Bowl ad airs they have received over 3 million impressions.
  • Audi’s YouTube Page

The importance of these advertisements being previewed early and their impact that they can have on these brands is found in the numbers. Both the Coca-Cola and Audi advertisements have over one million views – that’s one million more impressions than the air-time during the Super Bowl can offer. And it was free. While the concept of previewing commercials prior to the Super Bowl is relatively new, it will be interesting to see how the social media pushes play out. If these brands promoting heavily on social media do well, then next year we may see a dramatic shift in spending on Super Bowl commercials.