free html hit counter How Superbowl Ad Prices Prove Old Media Is Splintering - John Battelle's Search Blog

How Superbowl Ad Prices Prove Old Media Is Splintering

By - January 12, 2004

Advertising Age has a headline today that sounds familiar: “Superbowl Ad Prices Set New Record.” On first blush, it’d be easy to say that the $2.25 million marketers are paying for one 30-second spot proves how robust broadcast television is as a medium. In fact, I’d argue it proves quite the opposite. Broadcast television continues to bleed out as niche cable, the internet, and gaming take hold, creating a a significant shortage of Major Marketing Moments. Back when Laugh In or the Texaco Theater was king, average ratings hovered above 50 for hit shows. Now a show is a hit if it cracks the teens. Hence, when something like the Superbowl creates a mass marketing opportunity (a rarity today), marketers naturally bid it up. So here’s a new law: The price of a 30-second Superbowl spot is inversely correlated to overall network television revenues. I’d wager Major Marketing Moment revenues won’t make up the overall network decline year to year. I’d love to do the stats on this, but I’m supposed to be writing a book, so I’ll leave it at that.

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