Marketing dilemma: Super Bowl ad or 14 billion Facebook impressions?

With a 30-second Super Bowl spot costing around $4 million for air time alone, Digiday’s Jack Marshall wonders what else a marketing maven seeking to build brand might do with all that money. A few of his “Super Bowl alternatives:”

  • 14 billion Facebook ads (an ad a second for 469 years).
  • 160 million sponsored content views (although “not many publishers could ever actually deliver them”).
  • 10 days of YouTube masthead ads (home page ads will set you back $400,000 a day).
  • A full-length feature film (“Many great films are made for under $3 million”).

Obviously a Super Bowl ad or any of the campaigns above are out of reach for all but the biggest players in residential real estate. But as a testament to the brand-building power of the Super Bowl, it’s worth noting that Century 21 Real Estate ran Super Bowl spots for two years in a row — 2012 and 2013 — citing  a 40 percent year-over-year jump in website traffic.

The company is no stranger to Facebook and social media either, having won awards for its innovative marketing on those channels. Last fall, Century 21 even capitalized on the finale of “Breaking Bad” by placing a fake Craigslist ad for a New Mexico home that it joked belonged to the main character, Walter White.

As Matt Gentile, director of social media for Century 21, told Ad Age, “In today’s media environment there’s only so many Super Bowls, only so many opportunities to capture the attention and imagination of a mass audience, and ‘Breaking Bad’s season finale was one of those moments.”

Which is not to say the Realogy franchise brand has given up on sports. At next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the U.S. bobsled team will rocket down the track in a Century 21-branded sledSource: digiday.com.

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