Connected TV

Why the Big Game is TV Advertising’s New Year

Here’s why the Big Game signals a need for creative innovation as agencies and brands prepare for the biggest advertising day of the year.

Why the Big Game is TV Advertising’s New Year

4 Min Read

Fast Company called it the ‘hype cycle’, CNET coined it a ‘showcase,’ while Kantar named it one of the “quickest sell-outs in history.” And that’s just the advertising circuit that makes up the cultural zeitgeist that is the Big Game. Think of it as the unofficial start to the TV advertising new year, where brands stretch their creative muscles to debut their biggest commercials of the year. It’s also the time of the year where budgets are freshly replenished, planning is wrapped, and creativity is stronger than ever after the end-of-year reset. However, the action isn’t only limited to the big screen—expect to see (if you haven’t already) a halo effect from the Big Game buzz to other formats across online and social media.

The Big Game continues to break records as the biggest single-day audience in the country, so it’s no wonder that a 30-second spot continues to also break records—this year costing up to $7 million. However, that’s only for the media buy alone. Production costs can run upwards of $2.5 million, and that’s not even including celebrity talent. Put two and two together (or in this case, seven plus 2.5 and then celebrity talent fees) and it’s no wonder why the Big Game is the playground of the biggest brands in the world. That leads us to our next question—surely there’s a better way of generating a “super” impact with television advertising without having to burn a hole in your pockets?

Think Outside the ‘Bowl

“It is an omnichannel event now. During any [Big Game] party, you’ll see people spending as much time looking at their mobile devices as their TV screens. Engage them there during the pre-and post-game too. The expense is lower and the ROI is sky-high. Be bold, creative, timely and topical,” said Stephen Rosa, a member of the  Forbes Agency Council. There’s a big misconception in the industry that television advertising is just that—limited to a single format without regard to other channels. However, innovations in the space, through Connected TV (CTV) solutions like MNTN Performance TV actually transform the CTV screen into one part of a holistic campaign that can extend to other digital channels. What’s more, the presence of CTV in a marketing push sees an effect that lifts other digital ad channels. Case in point, data from MNTN shows that advertisers who run CTV alongside other owned channels see increases in conversion rates for paid search (+22%) and paid social (+9%). 

Rethinking TV Advertising

There’s no mistaking the ROI earned by advertisers during game day. As research firm Kantar revealed, a Big Game ad delivers on average $4.60 per dollar spent. However, the costs associated with the Big Game cast a spotlight on the current TV advertising process, and how it could use a revamp. Media buys and creative production are often separated, and consequently, advertisers aren’t always getting the most bang for their buck. Just like we reevaluate our lives and goals at the start of the year, so too should advertisers on the eve of this unofficial start to the TV ad new year—from the creative process and to the KPIs we associate with it.

Getting Into Formation With Innovation

Innovation is needed to unlock accessibility to all types of brands (not just the ones who can afford it) to advertise on television. Connected TV advertising is a marketing channel that automates the process for advertisers, in turn driving measurable performance across bottom line metrics like ROAS and revenue. However, not all Connected TV advertising solutions are built the same. Brands should look for a performance-driven approach that optimizes for performance goals instead of vanity metrics like impressions and reach. 

This, combined with reimagining the creative production and media buying process, drives even stronger outcomes. MNTN’s Creative-as-a-Subscription™ is an example of that reimagination in action. It combines both together to allow your budget to focus on performance. This essentially provides a steady stream of creative assets to use, test and iterate over time. Could this be the new way of advertising on television on game day and beyond?

It certainly unlocks television for a wider variety of advertisers, and allows them to put points on the board using  the most prestigious advertising medium there is. As CTV expands its footprint and becomes a viable ad channel for more and more brands, innovations like this will help TV move into its next phase of play.

We’d call this a game-winning touchdown for sure.

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