The ROI of a Super Bowl Ad

January 24, 2017

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of the Vayner Media agency, doesn't consider himself a "digitalist" or "social media guru;" instead, he sees himself as an arbiter of consumer attention. He’s well known for espousing emerging media platforms; engaging consumers where they are already paying attention; and shifting channels, strategies, and tactics the moment they cease to deliver a disproportionate ROI. While much of Vaynerchuk’s work focuses on digital, mobile, and social media, there is one traditional tactic the serial entrepreneur thinks still has immense value: Super Bowl ads on TV.

One of Vaynerchuk's long-term goals is to acquire a number of brands through a private holding company, and through his process, build those brands to prominence and profitability. The Vayner Media CEO said that one of his first strategies as a brand owner will be to run multiple ads during the Super Bowl, the only televised event where people are still paying close attention to commercials.

The problem with the current execution of Super Bowl ads is… we’re not making the kind of work that takes advantage of the attention of all of America.

“I believe the No. 1 underpriced source of attention today is the Super Bowl, because every single person watches the ads, whether it’s during the game or on YouTube the week before. The problem with the current execution of Super Bowl ads is that the creative has such a stake in getting agencies new clients that we’re not making the kind of work that takes advantage of the attention of all of America. There are so many CPG brands in the U.S. that are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on CRM that could accomplish the data collection they’re looking for with one Super Bowl ad with the right creative execution to compel everyone to do something in their funnel.”

More examples of brands making the most of the biggest U.S. TV event of the year:

The Science of Sharing: Super Bowl 50 Study: Digital agency Unruly looked at the numbers behind the most- and least-shared ads of Super Bowl 50 to find insights and best practices.

Lovin' the Super Bowl (ANA Members Only): For Super Bowl 50, McDonald’s wanted to put its longtime tagline, “I’m Lovin’ It,” into action by celebrating other brands’ Super Bowl ads on social media. By creating content in real time based on what happened during commercial breaks, McDonald’s became the most retweeted brand in a single day — all without using a hashtag.

Super Bowl 50 and Frito-Lay: An Epic Strategy (ANA Members Only): One sure-fire way to ensure positive ROI on your Super Bowl ad is to let your fans make it for you. For 10 years, Frito-Lay’s “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign delivered fan-made ads that made Ad Age’s top-five Super Bowl ads every single year, earning the top spot three separate times.


Marketing for the Year in Which We Actually Live." Gary Vaynerchuk, Owner of Vayner Media. 2016 ANA Masters of Media Conference, 3/3/16; ANA Masters of Marketing Conference, 10/20/16.

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