Super Bowl LVII Yields Important Insights for Reach and Frequency Strategy
Director, Corporate Communications
Feb 23, 2023
Every year, there’s one big television event that brings together audiences across ages, ethnicities, and income levels like no other: the Super Bowl. The Big Game remains the undisputed king of live TV events, bringing in the largest audience reach year-after-year. It’s no surprise then that advertisers invest millions of dollars and months of planning over a single ad buy during the event.
For the past several years, Samba TV’s data has been the first in the industry to unveil the biggest insights from the Super Bowl including which brands won the lion’s share of audience attention. Our latest Super Bowl insights provide key lessons for any advertiser looking to optimize their ad buys in sporting events to ensure the broadest reach. Let’s take a look.
Despite a dip in the height of the pandemic, viewership has stabilized
This year’s Super Bowl saw 36.7M U.S. households tune in via linear or streaming to watch the Kansas City Chiefs snatch the win. This was a slight uptick from the 36.5M U.S. households that were brought in for the 2022 game with the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals. However, taking into consideration 2021’s dramatic 12% dip to 32M U.S. households from 2020’s 38.0M U.S. households, the 2022 and 2023 viewership numbers may indicate the new normal for tune-in to the Big Game.
This trend of live sports viewership is an interesting find consideringSamba TV’s 2H’22 State of Viewership Report’s linear consumption data, which shows historically low viewership with continuing declines of both households with cable or satellite subscriptions and average number of linear minutes watched. Even as linear remains on a downward trajectory, the Super Bowl remains an exception to the rule in its ability to drive huge day-of reach. Advertisers in the midst of their ad buys for the next big sporting event should plan for omniscreen ad buys to ensure they’re connecting with audiences on linear and also maximizing their reach across other screens.
The Halftime Show gives advertisers a strong advantage
The Halftime Show of the Super Bowl has brought in some of the biggest names in entertainment with a well-orchestrated production of dancers and pyrotechnics. Despite Rihanna’s Halftime Show bringing in approximately 1% less viewership than 2022’s throwback to some of hip hop’s legends, the Halftime Show has brought in high points in viewership over the last two years.
While the mid-game performance is often some of the priciest slots for advertisers, audience viewership typically increases leading up to the halftime. This is an important datapoint for advertisers to consider as the second quarter can often deliver strong reach as audiences less interested in the football game are checking in on the broadcast to soak up the Halftime Show.
Otherwise, the ebbs and flows of viewership throughout not just the Super Bowl but any major sporting event comes down to how well the teams are battling it out. Take, for example, how 2023’s dramatic fourth quarter saw viewership remain strong up until the end whereas the 2021 matchup saw viewership plummet as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took on an insurmountable lead over the Kansas City Chiefs.
“The natural tendency of viewers to drift away from non-competitive games was tough luck for advertisers who chose to place their commercials in the fourth quarter hoping for a down-to-the-wire finish.” Ashwin Navin, Samba’s CEO and co-founder in Associate Press
In lieu of a Super Bowl buy, Connected TV advertising opportunities provide strong opportunities
For brands that don’t want to commit massive investments in a Super Bowl ad buy, data-driven omniscreen campaigns that include Connected TV (CTV) enables advertisers to reach the same viewing audience without spending millions for a 30-second ad. This includes advertisers that leveraged Samba TV’s new Audiences Interface, a self-service tool in which advertisers integrate industry-leading TV data and quickly implement campaigns.
The new self-service Audiences Interface takes the guesswork out of ad buys by:
Activating audiences with Samba’s comprehensive TV data using prebuilt PMPs or data segments
Implementing omniscreen campaigns in a few minutes on your preferred DSP or platform
Getting 24/7 access to an easy-to-use, self-service interface with frequently refreshed audience data, no login required
As advertisers start dusting off playbooks for the next Super Bowl and for the other big sports matchups to come (ahem March Madness), look to weave in omniscreen tactics with real-time tools like this one to ensure you’re maximizing ROAS. Check out the interface at samba.tv/audiences or contact us here for more details.
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