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Super, Man

By - April 16, 2004

supermanjerryIt’s been a while since I’ve beaten one of my favorite dead horses, network television advertising. But this ClickZ story (thanks Pam) had the grist for my mill: I’ve been wondering what the stats look like for the Seinfeld/Superman film, I figured if they were low, we’d hear very little about it (no reason to trumpet it), but if they’re high…

According to the story, which quotes Comscore data, the site is drawing upwards of 30,000 visits a day, which is about what a major blog pulls in. The traffic trend is building, the story notes, and Amex claims it’s had more than a million viewers so far.

These are not huge numbers, by any measure. In fact, I expected them to be far higher. Amex is hyping the site in any number of ways using more traditional marketing. What I wonder is what the numbers are that makes this a success. If traffic keeps building, and as they release the next installment it will, the site will certainly cross 2, 3, and probably 5 million viewers. WIll it be a success then? From a traditional ad buy perspective, most likely the answer is yes. You have 5 million viewers who all *opted into* watching your message. You’d need to buy Superbowl ads to get such a devoted audience. Your message is five minutes long (ten times longer than the 30-second spot) – buying that kind of time on network TV is prohibitive. The branding experience is far better. Etc. etc.

But what I really like about this play is how it points the rest of the moribund mass marketers to the next frontier of advertising. “Hey guys!,” Amex is saying, “come on in! The water’s fine….”

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3 thoughts on “Super, Man

  1. personally I find this type of advertising to be pretty lame. Most people don’t opt in to see ads – especially pure “content” plays like this with little benefit to the consumer.

    I can’t see how they are going to get back the investment given they had to license Superman, pay Seinfeld, shoot and produce the spots using CGI AND buy network airtime to promote the whole damn thing.

  2. Andrew Safrin says:

    I can’t see them making any money from this. I think they’re just magically hoping for a BMW films experience. Figure those easily cost over $10mil to make. How many cars would you have needed to sell? It’s all about the brand, which to me never qualifies as reason to spend on advertising.

    The problem I see with the Amex ads is that there’s no reason to have them online, especially not in that terrible interface. What’s that suppose to mean? Hey here’s a cool new technology and yet we’re going to show it like a 50s home video? Pretty lame.

    I think they should have just shown it in movie theaters and build hype that way. But I guess that would have been too much to ask for. I mean that French Nike ad with the rooster was awesome and it was only in the theaters that I saw it. Sometimes it was better than the movie. Now that’s buzz.

  3. Hulkster says:

    I watched one of these – it was kinda entertaining at first, but after a while, I was kinda hoping for it to wrap up and show the point. I agree a LOT of effort for not much affect – heck, click on the Hulkster link below to see a couple of goofball amatuers tossing a 9′ Hulk off the roof of a second story house – that’s some entertainment for a LOT less effort.