The Super Bowl is as synonymous with advertising as it is with football. However, another player in the market for premium advertising dollars has emerged — the Academy Awards. Sara Loughran Dommer, a marketing professor in Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, looks at Oscar’s rising power.
Are the Oscars the new Super Bowl with respect to advertising? By one measure, they are.
Advertising efficiency is often measured by the cost to reach 1,000 people via an advertising outlet or medium. Advertisers paid $4.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime during Super Bowl XLIX, which 114.4 million people watched. That works out to a “Cost per Thousand” of $39.34. Advertisers paid $1.95 million for a 30-second spot during the 2015 Oscars, which reached 43 million people. That works out to a “Cost per Thousand” of $45.35.
Why can the Academy Awards demand more money? Let’s consider demographics. While almost everyone watches the Super Bowl, the Oscars attract a niche audience primarily composed of women, who just happen to make most of a household’s purchase decisions. When General Motors and Unilever, both longtime Super Bowl advertisers, used the Oscars to launch campaigns for Cadillac and Lipton tea, respectively, they cited demographics as a key driver in that decision.
Also, research shows advertising during the Oscars may be more effective than advertising during the Super Bowl, at least in terms of increasing consumers’ purchase likelihoods. According to a survey of more than 84,000 consumers by Extreme Reach, a TV ad distribution software and research firm, 31.1 percent of viewers who watched last year’s Academy Awards said they were more likely to buy a product after seeing it advertised during the show. Only 6.87 percent of Super Bowl viewers felt the same.
The fact that the Super Bowl draws almost three times as many people as the Academy Awards means advertisers will continue to flock to the Super Bowl. But for many advertisers, particularly those targeting women or those who want to influence purchase behavior, it makes sense to skip the turf in favor of the red carpet.
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