January 31, 2014
Why a smart PR campaign truly outshines a wildly expensive ad
In the time it takes you to get up from your screen during Super Bowl XLVIII and grab a second scoop of guacamole, some companies have blown through enough money to buy a private island. Or to purchase Mark Twain’s estate and move it to that private island. They could probably also throw in a small yacht to ride around the island and gaze at their purchase. (This might actually be more effective in terms of payoff than buying a whopper-priced ad).
One 30-second ad spot during Super Bowl is reported to cost around $4 million, a higher ad rate than ever. Setting aside common sense toward ad budgets, the reality of this kind of expenditure is shocking: There’s little payoff, say ad experts, especially in terms of boosting sales and lasting brand memorability. As it turns out, consumers who watch the commercials do so for pure entertainment and may not associate the commercial with the product – or they use that time to Tweet with friends and get snacks, ignoring these jaw-droppingly expensive ads all together. Yes, this is your refreshing ticket to freedom from Super Bowl hype.
Three reasons a PR campaign can achieve stronger results for your brand than a super-priced ad:
1. What happens Tuesday when all the Super Bowl talk is over?
PR investments go further all year long. Companies who engage a savvy PR firm to shift consumer perception, build brand power and cultivate a strong online reputation can spend a lot less money and see much more long-term impacts for their spending. In fact, it’s incredibly hard to make a case for a $4 million dollar 30-second ad during the Super Bowl, if you’re looking for a boost in sheer sales. Recent articles suggest consumers don’t typically buy more of a product they see in these ads.
2. Unlike your famous nachos, wise brand-building investments aren’t a one-and-done.
PR strategies access multiple message platforms rather than just one big bang. PR strategies use a blend of research, online brand management tools, crisis management and earned news to achieve solid results that can move customers to action and loyalty. (Instead of just moving them to more cheese dip).
3. Here’s some tough love:
Your creative energy toward the Super Bowl or post-Super Bowl events probably won’t be seen or remembered. However, PR pros who align your company with the right audience all year help you stand out repeatedly, and you won’t need high-priced, one-time quickie campaigns. We will all see many short-term Twitter campaigns, online message “stunts” and next-day articles many companies have invested in to try to gain some Super Bowl audience leverage during or after the game. This is a serious shot in the dark (yes, pun intended regarding last year’s power outage). The field of messages, Tweets, social media campaigns and other voices during this time period is simply too huge to worry about. You’re better off to invest in a top-notch PR strategy, then sit back and enjoy the game with friends and family.
Put it this way – a wildly expensive ad is likely more of an ego move for a brand or an effort to gain a very short-lived audience buzz. (Research suggests viewers probably remember what’s funny about an ad, but forget the brand altogether at Monday’s water cooler conversation). Investing in the diverse and powerful mix of tools offered by PR firms is more effective, much more affordable and much more long-lasting.
Call the smart, savvy team at Axia Public Relations to get started on some serious brand shifts for your company. And pass the wings.
– Jason Mudd, APR, is CEO of Axia Public Relations. He is an Emmy-Award-winning accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author and entrepreneur. His public relations portfolio includes work for established national and emerging brands such as American Airlines, Budweiser, Dave & Buster’s, Brightway Insurance, Florida Blue, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, It Works! Global, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Ray Charles, Southern Comfort, Verizon and more. Connect with Jason at @jasonmudd9 and Axia Public Relations at @axiapr. Be sure to tweet and share your thoughts below. We’ll read and respond to each of them.