Super Bowl XXXIX - Movie ads do register

Spending millions to advertise in the Feb. 6 Super Bowl will likely pay off for Hollywood’s movie studios, say marketing experts at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, who have studied Super Bowl advertising for five years.

Advertisements during the high-profile game are selling for an average of $2.4 million per 30-second spot, a record amount for the National Football League’s championship game.

The movie industry is among those most likely to benefit from advertising in the game, said Charles Tomkovick, UW-Eau Claire professor of management and marketing, who with Rama Yelkur, associate professor of management and marketing, completed the first known Super Bowl advertising effectiveness study of its kind.

“All else being equal, spending $2 million-plus for a movie ad in the Super Bowl will pay off handsomely for most studios,” Tomkovick said.

Research results, which were published in the Journal of Advertising Research, found that the average Super Bowl promoted film achieved twice as much first weekend, first week and total U.S. box office revenue than non- Super Bowl promoted movies. Even when researchers applied more rigorous tests, controlling for release dates and budget size, they found similar results.

Hollywood began running a couple of Super Bowl ads in the early 1990s. Then in 1996, Fox spent $1.1 million to promote “Independence Day,” which achieved U.S. revenues of $300 million and $500 million worldwide.

“This was the turning point,” Yelkur said. “Movie advertisers en masse realized the benefits of Super Bowl advertising.” Eight movies were advertised in 2002 and 10 in 2003.

Researchers examined box office gross revenues for movies advertised during the 1998-2001 Super Bowls. They compared it with data from a random sample of movies that weren’t advertised during the game over the same time. They compared first weekend, first week and total U.S. box office revenues. They controlled for movie release dates and refined their analysis to include only high budget films.

Opening weekend revenues for Super Bowl promoted movies in 2002 and 2003 were phenomenal, Tomkovick said. Fifteen of the 18 earned the top U.S. Box Office position for their opening weekend. Two came in second and the weakest of the 18 premiered at No. 4.

Source:University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire