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All Super Bowl, All The Time: This Week in TV Advertising

This week’s TV ad news is predominantly focused on Super Bowl LI as advertisers are prepping for the big game, whose $5-million ad spots are 90% sold out. Bud Light will use the big game to revamp its marketing message, and Adweek reminds marketers that social video is critical for maximizing ad expenditure. Also, for the first time, local ads will be served to those streaming the Super Bowl.

In a sea of Super Bowl-related stories, this week’s most bullish TV advertising story isn’t about the big game at all. Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi has a brilliant take down of Nielsen’s Total Content Ratings, calling it out for being “largely irrelevant for advertisers– TCR does not measure viewership of commercials, focused instead on the TV programming.”

Here are the latest TV advertising stories sparking discussion amongst our writers and analysts this week. 

Super Bowl: Bud Light Revamps its Marketing Approach
By Suzanne Vranica @ Wall Street Journal

Anheuser-Busch InBev will air a 60-second Super Bowl advertisement for Bud Light, following a new creative direction. In the past, Bud Light’s ads featured celebrities and epic footage– but last year the beer’s shipments dropped by 2.5% – 3.5%. This year Bud Light’s campaign will carry the tagline “Famous Among Friends.” 2017 will also be the first year that Anheuser-Busch will air a spot for Busch during the Super Bowl.

Brands Should Include Social Video in Their Super Bowl Ad Budget
By Stacey Weller @ Adweek

Research by Simulmedia and Facebook found that a TV ad shown in proximity to a Facebook ad from the same brand can lift conversion by almost 500%. In 2016, there were 60 million people on Facebook and 38 million on Instagram during the Super Bowl who generated posts, likes and comments about the game. Advertisers can program their ads to show up in fans’ feeds at around the same time that their ad airs.

Super Bowl Ads are a Tough Sell in 2017
By Tim Calkins and Derek D. Rucker @ Fortune

Advertisers are slower than usual to buy Super Bowl spots– according to Fox, ad spots for the Super Bowl were 90% sold out in December. In prior years, 90% of Super Bowl spots were taken by September or October. This could be due to NFL ratings dropping, or that the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl spot has nearly doubled in price since 2010: from $2.5 million to $5 – $5.5 million.

A First: Fox Inserts Local TV Ads in Super Bowl Live Streaming
By Wayne Friedman @ MediaPost

Fox announced that its Fox Sports Go digital platform will offer “Super Bowl LI,” live as a non-authenticated stream with local advertising, partnering with more than 170 Fox affiliates nationwide. This is the first time that local advertising will be streamed during the Super Bowl.

What Advertisers Should Know About Cross-Platform TV Measurement
By Jeanine Poggi @ Advertising Age

Despite the buzz around Nielsen’s Total Content Ratings, they might be largely irrelevant for advertisers– TCR does not measure viewership of commercials, focused instead on the TV programming. TCR may be useful for preliminary decisions about which show is a good fit for brands, but it doesn’t answer questions about how ad loads play into different viewing environments. Nielsen agrees that TCR were never intended to be used as a currency.

How Social Media Plays Into the Super Bowl
By Robert Klara @ Adweek

According to a survey from Influence Central, 78% of fans will be busy on social platforms (Facebook’s the most popular, followed by Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat) while the Super Bowl game is on. While 32% of party attendees plan to use social media to “react to the game,” 38%, will use it to talk about the advertising.