The value of Super Bowl advertising is not based solely on the number of eyeballs tuned into the game — far from it!!

As we have learned in recent years, word of mouth (whether online or offline) — also known as viral marketing — is even more critical than to marketers than eyeballs. Why?

  • Viral marketing reaches a huge audience through social media and other online coverage of Super Bowl ads.
  • The ads have a much longer shelf life than the 30 to 90 seconds of TV airtime. The most famous Super Bowl, the 1984 Apple McIntosh commercial, is still widely discussed.
  • Through the Internet, a global audience is reached for ads that are seen live by a mostly U.S. audience.
  • There is a lot of brand engagement by people who read about the ads online and who discuss them with others.

Click the image below to see Businessweek’s choice of the “Most Viral Super Bowl Ads of All Time.” Note: The image here is from the Apple ad, which predated social media, but still comes in at number 11!



10 Replies to “The Most Talked-About Super Bowl Ads of All Time”

  1. No way is the value of Super Bowl advertising solely based on who watches the game, not in this technology age. Now companies are starting to “leak” their ads before Super Bowl weekend even starts. For example the Mercedes ad with Kate Upton was realized a week early. This ad has already generated some positive and negative buzz giving Mercedes a leg up on their competition.

  2. With the internet being widely used across the world, Superbowl ads are even more profitable then previously. After the Super Bowl airs there are thousands of websites and blogs making lists of “Top 10 Best Super Bowl Ads 2013” or “Top 10 Worst Super Bowl Ads 2013”. Even if the advertisement is the worst one it is still free publicity and marketing the company is getting. People truly want to discuss all the advertisements, even people who don’t like football watch the Super Bowl just to see the entertaining advertisements. Super Bowl has truly become an advertising and marketing gold mine.

  3. The Super Bowl is certainly not known for only the actual football game, but also for their top commercials. The suspense of waiting to see these well-done commercials even draw the attention of non-football watchers, including myself. The marketing behind these commercials are absolutely brilliant and well thought out. Not only is the cost of these 30-90 second commercials extremely steep, but they are also produced very well to the point where they really draw the audience’s attention. These commercials are then remembered and talked about by the audience from here on.

  4. The super Bowl is one of the most anticipated events of the year for Americans. However, many people don’t watch the Super Bowl for football, but many watch it for the entertaining advertisements that are showed on commercial breaks. It is crazy that the apple commercial is still considered one of the best Super Bowl Ads of all time. There have been many other commercials that are more high tech and most persuasive to the consumer than the apple commercial. My favorite Super Bowl commercial is the Volkswagon ad with the little boy dressed as Darth Vader. It was very funny, and it was also creative. It showed the new features of the car in a creative and funny manor.

  5. The Super Bowl is definitely a gold mine for advertisers to make a name for themselves that lasts not just for the 30-90 minutes of airplay but much longer after the game especially in todays viral age. The commercials shown during the Super Bowl are broadcasted to such a large audience that it commonly becomes the topic of discussion for days to come and the viewership continues, if good enough, for years to come.

  6. Super bowl Sunday is a once a year occurrence, when the whole country is watching the same thing on television. The ratings were extremely high so the high cost for commercial time would most likely be worth the money for these big companies. However I think it is important for these companies to have commercials that are relevant to their good. One example is the NFL network commercial, it was my favorite commercial on the day, but I completely forgot what they were advertising.

  7. I really liked the 1984 Apple MacIntosh commercial. I read the book 1984 by George Orwell in high school and it fascinated me. I think the commercial is effective in the marketing sense because it encourages breaking out from the norm and innovating. This is indicative of Apple, which has revolutionized computers and become one of the most popular brands. I am curious as to why Apple has not released more ads in recent years (it could be that they don’t need to)… As far as this years Super Bowl goes, my favorite commercials were the Doritos one with the goat and the Oreo skit in the library.

  8. In this technology age, it is not surprising to see that the success of a widely publicized Super Bowl commercial goes far beyond the tv. I think the true success of a commercial is not how much revenue it gets or how many laughs, but its ability to have a lasting effect on society, like the Macintosh commercial mentioned above. The true success of a marketing department can be measured through the sharing of the commercial either by word of mouth or over the Internet after its initial airing has occurred. If in the 60 or so seconds a company has to sell themselves and their product they are able to get a friend to tell another friend who tells another, it is a success. It’s not whether they get the consumer to buy the product but whether they can get company in the eye of the consumer for a long lasting period of time.

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