Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, December 17, 2021

lost in the shuffle
This year’s edition of the Super Bowl might be XL, but there’s nothing “extra large” about the game’s ad sales so far. Direct competition from February’s Winter Olympics, and indirect competition from wireless and online media, are keeping the TV commercial pricetag flat, and even that’s not enough to keep perennial participants Visa and McDonald’s from passing this year.

Last year’s $2.4 million rate was a record for a Super Bowl 30-second TV spot, despite generally flat viewership for the past 10 years.

Assuming ABC and the NFL have a calendar, they should have known the Turin Olympics were coming, and were close enough to the big game to drain off some advertising dollars. I’d like to see the pertinent numbers from past years’ Winter Olympics/Super Bowl proximity, and see if this is or isn’t par for the course. I’d guess it is: As much hype as the Super Bowl gets as a primo ad bonanza, the Olympics attract a far broader audience (more women and kids than football does), and their lesser frequency would seem to merit more attention from national advertisers.

I think McDonald’s reason for bowing out is pretty funny:

Sources said McDonald’s was particularly miffed last year when its “Lincoln Fry” spot got spectacularly poor reviews among critics and consumers. The company had decided last year that if its spot didn’t make the top 10 in the USA Today poll, it would not be back in the ’06 game, sources said. McDonald’s had no comment.

It’s hard to believe McD’s put so much faith into that lame Lincoln Fry gimmicky ad, whose failure can be partly attributed to the employment of a fake blog. They should be miffed at the boneheads who greenlighted a really dumb concept. (Then again, this is probably a convenient excuse: McDonald’s traditionally puts a lot of resources into both Summer and Winter Olympics marketing, so I’d expect to see them really double-down on Turin.)

Could we see markedly less buzz this coming Super Sunday? Probably not, but at least there’ll be a little more variety in the lineup. And since ABC has the game, we can expect some really spectacular Disney movie promos.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/17/2005 02:35:56 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Football
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3 Feedbacks »

    The yin was the unusually sluggish ad sales ABC is facing for this season’s Super Bowl. So the yang, as intimated before, is brisk business for the 2006 Winter Olympics, as NBC reports selling 90 percent of its ad inventory for the Turin Games, well on its way to a record-setting $900 million in sales for the event.

    It’s like I said: As popular as the NFL is, and as built-up as…

    Comment by Population Statistic — 12/20/2005 @ 01:55:07 PM


    With low ticket sales and even lower mindshare so far, Newsweek’s Mark Starr wonders if the Olympic Games in Turin are doing a good enough job of selling themselves, or even if the public in Italy or elsewhere finds this February’s Olympi…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 01/02/2021 @ 03:01:29 PM


    I guess reports of slack ad sales for next month’s Super Bowl served as a starter’s gun for a pre-Christmas rush. Ad inventory for the game is close to sold out, and yet another 30-second-spot price record is on the way:
    Executives say t…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 01/10/2021 @ 03:45:58 PM

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