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Super Bowl spot vs. YouTube upload. Guess who wins?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Here are more thoughts on Super Bowl spots - and maybe some ways to save yourself from that splashy 30-second spend!

As powerful as these ads are on the tube, Big Game advertisers might get more bang for their buck by creating a purely-online spot. Many bloggers and media folks, including us, have written about the Dove Evolution video: its powerful message, its viral effect, and now, its ROI. Advertising Age (paid subscription required) reported that Dove had their biggest-ever traffic spike in less than a month as a result of uploading the viral ad to YouTube - three times more traffic than after it ran its Super Bowl ad in 2006. True, viral video ads aren't created and promoted for free, but a Super Bowl ad spot last year cost about $2.5 million for 30 seconds, plus some steep production costs. YouTube, on the other hand, is free, and the Ad Age report proves its impact and reach to be comparable if not greater than TV ads, assuming it's a great campaign.

Of course, not everyone can or should do a viral video campaign. It takes a lot of planning and thought to pull it off. Dove is a superb example of one that nailed it.

But you do have other options for getting heard and seen online. Convert your ads into click-to-play video ads that users can watch and click through to your site. Upload your commercials, both old and new, to YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo! Video, AOL and others. Run a search campaign around your TV flights on relevant keywords to capture the buzz of your television ads. All of these things help to maximize the effect of an ad, even if it's not viral.

There's lots of buzz about video and viral marketing online. We'd love to hear about other great campaigns if you have some in mind or have thoughts about the ones mentioned here.