First things first. Due to all the potential marketing issues around the upcoming game, I will be referring to "the-game-that-shall-not-be-named" as the "Toilet Bowl." Now, to be fair, I’m not calling it the Toilet Bowl because I believe spending 5.6 million dollars on 30 seconds of television is like flushing money down the toilet. That would be giving me far too much credit. Especially when I believe TV is still one of the greatest forms of advertising on the planet. I’m calling it the Toilet Bowl because I have a sophomore in high school, so sophomoric humor scores me some street credibility.
While some consider it completely reckless to spend $5.6 million on the Toilet Bowl to advertise the benefits of eating avocados, I’m going to make a counter argument that spending TWICE as much when you’re running for President is actually a pretty good idea.
Enter Mike Bloomberg.
Mr. Bloomberg is doubling down by purchasing a 60-second commercial. What!? This guy is going to spend over $10 million of his own, hard-earned money to run an ad during the Toilet Bowl!? I know, I had the same reaction. But the more I pondered this unique strategy for utilizing television, the more I liked it.
Bloomberg is taking an unconventional approach to TV advertising, and he might just win big.
Let’s put the cost of running an ad during the game aside for a minute and look at things in a more general sense. While Bloomberg could have spent all of that sweet-sweet cash on social media advertising, he’s looking for a bold move and something that will truly move the needle. As much as we all love social media, it still doesn’t demand the same kind of attention as television. If you don’t believe me, look at all the free press Bloomberg is getting just for CHOOSING to advertise during Toilet Bowl, let alone the attention he'll score when the ad actually runs. No other channel demands that kind of credibility. My sophomore in high school can run a Facebook ad. TV advertising offers a completely different kind of legitimacy.
Bloomberg is demanding measurable results from his TV ad. And I believe he will get it.
For advertisers demanding ROI, a TV campaign with the right strategy should provide measurable results. This is where TV has had a bad reputation…that it’s not measurable. The wrong strategy with TV is not measurable. The right strategy should be highly accountable. With the right KPI’s in place, measuring effectiveness is not only an option, it should be the rule. In the case of Bloomberg, he’s running a highly measurable elections campaign and the KPI’s are easy to agree upon. And given the surge of impressions the most-watched TV event of the year will bring; he will feel the impact.
But what about the cost of running during Toilet Bowl?
Cost should be a major factor in your TV campaign. It comes back to strategy. For most of the advertisers planning on airing during Toilet Bowl, I strongly question if that media buy is the most strategic and efficient way of using television. Not to keep picking on avocados, as I will easily pay extra for the dollop of guac on my burrito bowl, but I’m strongly questioning this media buy. Perhaps they have a way of measuring an increase in dollops at Chipotle, and if so bravo. But I have to imagine the cost-per-dollop is pretty high on that single TV airing. But, with Bloomberg, spending $10 million dollars on a single ad is a steal. Since he’s personally worth close to $50 billion, running an ad during the game is like me running an ad on Craig’s List. He’s using TV as it was meant to be. It’s a big move that should produce needle-moving results that are measurable. Mike Bloomberg isn’t just running for President, so is his brand. This single TV buy isn’t even a rounding error on the Bloomberg balance sheet.
But its impact could be game-changing.