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George Diepenbrock
KU News Service
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Are expensive Super Bowl ads worth it? It depends, marketing scholar says

Thu, 02/01/2018


LAWRENCE — A 30-second Super Bowl commercial runs about $5 million this year, but on the bright side, companies might be able to bundle it with an NBC Winter Olympic Games ad.

A University of Kansas marketing scholar is available to discuss this year's Super Bowl ads and the strategies behind media marketing at major live sporting events.

Jessica Li, assistant professor of marketing in the School of Business, researches consumer behavior and has co-authored numerous studies, including on perceptions in advertising images. She has identified some highly successful past Super Bowl ads.

"It is debatable whether expensive Super Bowl commercials are worth it for companies, but the discussion has to be viewed in terms of how consumers view media today," Li said. "Their habits are fundamentally different than the old way of most people watching live television."

Advertisers consider sporting events – especially the Super Bowl as the most popular single American one — to be valuable because they are one of the few programs that many people still watch live, instead of using a DVR, allowing them likely to skip commercials or streaming services, like Netflix or Hulu, to binge-watch shows possibly without ads at all.

"Super Bowl ads now are primarily about generating buzz, especially on social media, and directing people to other sources of information," Li said. "Mostly the ads are seeking people's attention and to draw them in. They use an integrated communications strategy to steer people toward their website and social media sites."

To arrange an interview with Li, contact George Diepenbrock at 785-864-8853 or gdiepenbrock@ku.edu.

Photo: Pexels.com.



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