This year a 30-second sport during Super Bowl XLIX cost roughly $4.5 million. While this may get advertisers a lot throughout the rest of the year, the same can’t be said for the Super Bowl. The question that everyone seems to ask is —how can that possibly be worth it?

Depending on the brand’s goal, it might not be worth it. AdWeek posted an interesting article ahead of the Super Bowl breaking down what advertisers and marketers could have done with $4.5 million in the digital marketing space. 
Let’s take a look at some of the social campaigns that could have ran with that budget: 

• Six Days-Worth of $750,000 Sponsored Snapchat Snaps
• Five $800,000 YouTube Masthead Ads
• 10 “Premium Day” $425,000 Twitter Promoted Trends
• Four Days of $950,000 Facebook Reach Blocks 

That’s just a look at big-time buys on each of those four platforms. The most ideal mix would probably be doing one major campaign on each platform (depending on the demographic and target audience you are trying to reach. 
That’s the beauty of social media compared to television. With social and digital campaigns, not only can you target people with much more specificity, but you can also reach a wide assortment of analytics that will help determine the success (or lack thereof) of the campaign. 

TV (especially during the Super Bowl) is casting the widest audience possible. So, if your brand goal is simply awareness across all demographics, then the $4.5 million could be worth it. Take the country of Ecuador, for example. In my opinion, that was a great ad buy. At no other time in the year is the country’s tourism board going to have the attention of 100+ million Americans.

Brands that are trying to convert customers or drive incremental sales should think about straying away from television and instead focus on more targeted campaigns. 

At Navigate, we’ve seen that social media costs less on a CPM basis than any other media element (TV, in-stadium, print, radio, etc.). Even though it’s the cheapest, it is also the most influential in driving metrics like purchase intent, likelihood to recommend and more. 

What are your thoughts on the subject?  Tweet me at @p_mcclellan and join the dialogue.