Close by Adobe delivers marketing insights, expertise, and inspiration for and by marketing leaders—all aimed at helping CMOs and senior marketers lead their brands in this new digital world. To help marketers stay informed and save time, features curated content from more than 150 leading sources, in addition to original content from thought leaders at Adobe and across the industry.

Adobe is the global leader in digital marketing and digital media solutions. To learn more about how Adobe helps marketers make, manage, measure, and monetize digital content across every channel and screen, visit:

Visit  Adobe Marketing Cloud

Welcome ,Sign Out

Adobe Digital Index/ Analysis & Measurement

Super Bowl Advertisers Can Expect A 20% Increase In Web Traffic; Mobile Video Viewing Will Double On Super Bowl Sunday

by Tamara Gaffney
Senior Marketing Manager
Adobe Digital Index

See More by this author >

Those of us in the adver­tis­ing pro­fes­sion don’t view the Super Bowl like most Amer­i­cans. Let’s face it – most peo­ple will be focused on watch­ing their big screen TVs, eat­ing Super Bowl munchies, and hop­ing for their favorite team to score another touch­down. Mar­keters, how­ever, think of this event as the Holy Grail of adver­tis­ing.

We run into the room when the com­mer­cials start, and admit­tedly some of us even tune out when the foot­ball action resumes. For mar­keters, it’s our oppor­tu­nity to be inspired by the world’s best cre­ative tal­ent. Most impor­tantly, it’s our moment to truly enter­tain, inspire and emo­tion­ally touch con­sumers dur­ing one of the biggest TV events of the year. In the back of our minds, how­ever, a huge ques­tion looms: Is this the best we can do as mar­keters? Should we still be spend­ing that much money on a seem­ingly untar­geted and untrack­able sports event?

Dig­i­tal mar­keters are held to a higher stan­dard nowa­days. Mea­sure­ment, tar­get­ing, and the abil­ity to deliver rel­e­vant adver­tis­ing through dig­i­tal media chan­nels have changed the game. Sim­ply track­ing mar­ket­ing bud­get ROI via focus groups and aware­ness stud­ies is insuf­fi­cient for today’s CMO.  Inter­ac­tion between online and offline media is still com­plex, but it’s imper­a­tive to ana­lyze and opti­mize mul­ti­ple media in order to build effec­tive adver­tis­ing campaigns.

The Adobe Dig­i­tal Index team per­formed two types of analy­sis to under­stand 1) the con­sump­tion pat­terns of sports related con­tent across devices, and 2) how web traf­fic is impacted by tele­vi­sion adver­tis­ing around the Super Bowl.

Mobile video view­ing will dou­ble on Super Bowl Sunday

The Dig­i­tal Index team ana­lyzed 1.4 bil­lion video starts dur­ing 10 large sport­ing events in 2012 and com­pared them to typ­i­cal, non-event days.  View­ers demon­strated an increas­ing propen­sity to check sports-related videos from their mobile phones and an even larger desire to watch those videos from tablets dur­ing these spe­cial sport­ing events. These data points are com­pelling, but most strik­ing is the per­cent­age of online videos accessed by tablets and mobile phones, reach­ing 16% on a day with a major sport­ing event – a 100% increase com­pared to a typ­i­cal day in sports. View­er­ship lev­els of this mag­ni­tude are sig­nif­i­cant and demon­strate the need for media web­sites to con­tinue to invest in usabil­ity, design, and opti­miza­tion of mobile con­tent.  For adver­tis­ers, it begs the ques­tion, Should I sup­ple­ment my Super Bowl ad spend with online video to reach a more afflu­ent and tar­geted audi­ence with more mea­sur­able results?  Or, if I can’t afford America’s most expen­sive 30 sec­onds of air­time ($3.8 mil­lion in 2013), can I take advan­tage of the event in other ways online?

Dig­i­tal Index data sug­gests that mar­keters should be say­ing yes and yes. Super Bowl adver­tis­ers should con­sider the mobile video con­sump­tion trend to sup­ple­ment their tele­vi­sion expen­di­ture with incre­men­tal online video adver­tis­ing. Adver­tis­ers seek­ing more tar­geted vehi­cles or those who can­not afford the Super Bowl pre­mium can tap into this mar­ket­ing moment online and cap­i­tal­ize on the dig­i­tal channel’s great tar­get­ing, low cost per mille (or cost per impres­sion), and afflu­ent audi­ence. We know that mobile adver­tis­ing is still com­plex, but the prices remain rel­a­tively low while the audi­ence is grow­ing and is proven to spend more. U.S. adver­tis­ers spent 180 bil­lion dol­lars in 2012, but directed only 2% of that spend into mobile adver­tis­ing (Source: eMar­keter World­wide Ad Spend­ing Fore­cast, Jan­u­ary 2013).

Mobile Video Graph

Super Bowl adver­tis­ers will see a 20% increase in web traf­fic and the bump in vis­its will last about a week

Vis­its and page views to com­pa­nies that adver­tise on TV dur­ing the Super Bowl show a 20% increase in vis­its on the day of the game and main­tain higher than aver­age traf­fic for a week fol­low­ing the game.  How­ever, by the fol­low­ing week, all is for­got­ten and traf­fic returns to its nor­mal levels.

This chart shows vis­its lead­ing up to and fol­low­ing the Super Bowl in 2011 and 2012:

2011-2012 Super Bowl Graph

In 2012, more and more brands launched Super Bowl videos online before the game. The 2012 data in the graph above shows that traf­fic for adver­tis­ers peaked much ear­lier in the cycle prior to the Super Bowl. The week fol­low­ing the Super Bowl, how­ever, saw a lower lift of 12% more page views ver­sus 15% in 2011, and 12% more vis­its in 2012 ver­sus 23% in 2011. These find­ings indi­cate that the pre­views were more likely to pull traf­fic for­ward than increase the over­all impact. Clearly, opti­miz­ing the dig­i­tal returns from Super Bowl adver­tis­ing is still a work in progress.

Many adver­tis­ing con­ver­sa­tions revolve around the trade­offs between dig­i­tal and tra­di­tional adver­tis­ing when in fact, the most pow­er­ful for­mula comes from the com­bi­na­tion of them. As media com­pa­nies expand their dig­i­tal con­tent and ad inser­tion capa­bil­i­ties, espe­cially in the area of video and mobile, and as adver­tis­ers dial in the magic for­mula between online and offline media spend, it becomes increas­ingly clear that we can no longer think in terms of one ver­sus the other. The mar­riage of dig­i­tal and tra­di­tional media will become the ulti­mate solu­tion and will drive unprece­dented results.

Will Super Bowl adver­tis­ers be able to dial in the pre­views and extend the post-Super Bowl bump this year? Will they incor­po­rate online and offline cam­paigns more effec­tively and improve the effec­tive­ness of their Super Bowl ad spend? Will adver­tis­ers get their money’s worth? A lot of these ques­tions will be top­ics of dis­cus­sions after Feb­ru­ary 3rd.  In the mean­time, we’d be inter­ested in hear­ing your thoughts and predictions.