The Super Bowl has historically been one of the biggest television nights of the year, and Super Bowl 52 was no exception. The culmination of the NFL season garnered an overnight rating of 47.4, meaning nearly half of American households tuned in to watch the Philadelphia Eagles win their first championship. Even though viewership of the 2018 edition dipped slightly in comparison to the 2017 game, the broadcast still attracted a whopping 103.4 million viewers.
Now that the game has been played, a champion has been crowned and the audience numbers are in, here are three important Super Bowl takeaways for advertisers.
A SUPER OPPORTUNITY TO REACH A DIVERSE AUDIENCE
According to a recent study by Hitwise, the NFL audience typically skews older and male, but the Super Bowl draws viewers that stray outside of the NFL’s typical demographic, including increased viewership in the 18-24 age segment and far more females. The total volume of the audience, and the influx of highly valuable consumer segments, make the Super Bowl a perfect storm for marketing. With such a premium audience, it's no wonder that brands spent approximately $419 million on advertising during Super Bowl 52.
TRADITIONAL TV IS STILL KING, BUT STREAMING IS GROWING
Traditional television is still by far the preferred method of watching the Super Bowl, but this year the audience also had a wide variety of streaming options available. The added viewing options led to a record online audience, peaking at 3.1 concurrent streams.
The record online audience watched the match using devices ranging from connected TVs to smartphones. The mobile viewing options were expanded in 2018, which allowed more users who were on the go or couldn’t make it to their annual Super Bowl party to experience the game live.
The streaming options not only made sure viewers saw the ads aired during the live telecast, but also gave brands outside of the TV spots the opportunity to engage with audiences digitally as they watched on their connected devices. As online viewership grows, so will the opportunity for smaller brands to connect with the Super Bowl audience through digital placements.
VIEWERS SHARE THE EXPERIENCE IN PERSON AND ONLINE
Americans love Super Bowl parties. Fans of the game not only like to share the experience with fellow party-goers, but on social media as well. Hitwise’s recent study found that Super Bowl viewers use social outlets more frequently than the typical NFL audience, offering significantly more reach to advertisers on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
The increased usage of social media not only can enhance the experience fans have during the game, but also presents another arena for advertisers to actively communicate with their audiences outside of the traditional (and expensive) Super Bowl television spot.
Even with a slight dip in the traditional television audience, the Super Bowl was a success for fans and advertisers alike. Looking forward, as the way fans watch the game and engage with each other evolves, marketers will also need to be more agile by having a deeper understanding of how their audience watches the game and how they can best speak to their audiences’ needs no matter the delivery platform.