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Don’t lose your money on the big game

By Lisa Goldsberry

6946597_sLearn how investing in PR instead of Super Bowl ads can increase profitability

Apple’s “1984,” Clint Eastwood hawking Chryslers and the game MVP announcing his plans to go to Disneyworld could go down in history as some of the best Super Bowl commercials ever. And, for about 5 million dollars, your company could also grab a 30-second piece of the pie.

For those of you who would rather not spend that much money on bathroom breaks, fear not. You can save a few million and turn to PR for visibility and brand-building.

What do Super Bowl advertisers really get for their money?

The Super Bowl has become more than just millions of chicken-wing-eating, beer-guzzling fans watching 22 super-sized men knock each other around for a few hours. It’s big business, with some companies spending an entire year’s worth of their advertising budgets for a chance at creating something consumers will remember and that the media will talk about the next day.

Whether this is actually worth the money is debatable. Brands and companies that see a boost in recognition or stock prices after the big day would probably say it is. It helps that some of the best ads become Internet sensations for weeks.

Studies have shown that the commercials that score big tend to be those that are humorous, feature celebrities, make use of animals, have unexpected endings and/or tug at the heartstrings. Those that see the greatest benefit are movie companies advertising their next big films and new companies looking for a quick boost in recognition.

Other companies don’t always fare as well. Research has revealed that credit card companies and those that make cold medicines don’t usually do well.

Additionally, there can be a disadvantage in creating a popular commercial because people typically remember the ad but not the actual name of the company selling the product. For instance, many consumers recall the cute ad with the little boy in the Darth Vader costume trying to make something happen by using the Force, eventually believing he starts his father’s car. However, do you remember the name of the car company? (*See the answer at the end of this post.)

How a PR firm can give you more value for the money

Promotion and publicity are not one-and-done efforts. It must be a major part of your business every day. Also, a few Super Bowl ads do not even begin to match the advantages of a comprehensive PR program built around your company’s strategic plan.

The right PR firm can help you with reputation management, obtaining positive news coverage, spokesperson training and crisis communication.

Additionally, for your efforts to be most effective, it’s important to attract a more targeted audience for your product or service. For example, you can create an amazing ad for your investment services that thousands will see, but if only 1 percent of those viewers are interested in investing, you will have missed your target.

You may be better served by having your CEO address an annual meeting of personal finance advisors or positioning him as an expert for business writers at key news outlets. It might also be more beneficial to develop a campaign to reach more of your potential customers on social media, which allows you to show that you are willing to meet them on their turf and provides vital opportunities for engagement and two-way dialogue.

With Axia PR, you get a company that understands your business and that will develop an individualized program to fit your needs. That’s what we call getting your money’s worth. Contact us today or download our e-book Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment to learn how we provide the best value and help you meet your immediate, short-term and long-term objectives.


Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.

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Topics: public relations

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