Playing to win: Are TV commercials and viral videos effective?

Jenna Hanson
Business and Technology Journalist

Jenna Hanson covers business news and technology for Smarter Business™

Jenna Hanson
Business and Technology Journalist

Jenna Hanson covers business news and technology for Smarter Business™

Like David and Goliath, one small business dared to take on the big names in the Super Bowl ad war and went viral. Find out how TV and social media campaigns can benefit your business.

The American Super Bowl, the annual championship game of the National Football League, is one of the most watched yearly sporting events worldwide and is frequently the most watched American television broadcast annually. 

Almost as famous as the game itself are the half-time advertisements, with several studies showing that 50% of the audience tune in just to watch the commercials. The price for a national ad placement has reached a staggering USD$8 million for a 60-second spot, according to Forbes.

This year though, a small business has taken on the big names like Budweiser and Coca-Cola in the advertising war.Despite being a local ad, injury lawyer Jamie Casino’s controversial commercial went viral in the days following the game. The ad was a two-minute long heavy metal-blasting, sledgehammer-toting, movie trailer-esque clip disparaging the local Police Department for their actions after the shooting death of Casino’s brother in 2012. 

As of February 7, the video uploaded to his personal YouTube account had almost 5 million views, in addition to the 2.5 million views it gained in Georgia during the Super Bowl, and the hash tag #casinoslaw went wild on Twitter. Although refusing to comment on the price of the ad spot, Casino did say that it wasn’t as expensive to produce as one would expect.    

But is the expense worth the level of exposure for Australian small businesses?

Corner of a TV remote control

Increase your exposure

Nielsen put the viewership figures for this years’ game at an average of 111.5 million viewers, making Super Bowl XLVIII the most-watched television program in U.S. history despite the game having the largest margin of victory in a Super Bowl in 21 years, according to a Fox Sports press release.

For Australian television, free-to-air TV had a consolidated average of 13.6 million viewers every day for 2013. An average of 3.9 million people watched the first State of Origin match and 3.3 million watched the NRL grand final in 2013.

Only about one third of Australian households subscribe to pay TV, so the viewership numbers for broadcasts solely through this medium are limited when compared to free-to-air TV. However, the top genre for pay TV viewership in 2013 was sports, with the Australia-Iraq World Cup football qualifier topping the list with 550,000 viewers. 

Also, a pilot study conducted by Adconion Media Group and LG Electronics found that smart TV users showed a 21 per cent higher brand recall and a 13 per cent higher message recall when compared with traditional TV viewers, so cross-platform advertising seems to increase the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

Raise your revenue by increasing your digital presence

According to the August 2013 report for the MYOB Business Monitor, only 12% of SMEs have both a website and a social media site for their business, with a whopping 50% of SMEs having no online presence. 

Social media can increase your interaction with your customer base and viral videos in particular can have a significant impact on exposure. Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign garnered more than 114 million total views in just one month, ousting previous record holder Evian’s Roller Babies from the ‘most watched video ad of all time’ spot. 

The ad, which compares how women see themselves to how others view them, was uploaded in 25 different languages to 33 of Dove’s YouTube channels, has been viewed in more than 110 countries and, according to Unruly Media, has been shared 3.74 million times.

Findings

There’s good news for those businesses that do have an online presence or potentially dare to dream big, with the report finding:

  1. SMEs with a website are 47% more likely to see an annual revenue rise
  2. SMEs who use social media are 50% more likely to see an annual revenue rise
  3. SMEs with a website + social media are 63% more likely to see an annual revenue rise

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