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Why More Brands Turned To Regional Super Bowl Ad Buys

There’s an obvious downside to running a national broadcast campaign for the Super Bowl in its hefty pricetag (around $7 million for a 30-second buy), but cost isn’t the only reason some brands are taking a different approach.

While nothing can match the pure reach of a national broadcast ad in the Super Bowl, some brands are drawn to regional broadcast and streaming advertising options that allow them to reach more specific target audiences for their brands.

Rob Davis, CMO and president of Novus, an independent agency specializing in customized and localized media plans and buys, claims he’s seen an increased interest in such alternatives to the national Big Game ads in recent years. Marketing Daily reached out to discuss the issue.

This interview has been edited slightly for length and clarity.

Marketing Daily: Are there specific benefits for CPG brands when it comes to a strategy of pursuing regional ad buys over national broadcast? 

Rob Davis: Many CPGs famously like to dig into their sales by market, so if there are specific regional skews to sales for a given packaged goods brand, regional ad buys provide a nice opportunity to boost sales quickly in geographies where they feel they’re undeveloped relative to the category, or conversely, to help fuel further success by dominating in areas of business strength.

Marketing Daily: Is the phenomenon of brands focusing on streaming platforms related – are these overlapping, or perhaps complementary, trends? Do streaming options cut into the appeal of a national broadcast ad?

Davis: I would say they are complementary. Local/regional linear TV buys and streaming buys both give marketers increasing flexibility to buy the same content in ways that they can customize to where their best prospects are, both geographically and by distribution mechanism. It really just comes down to who and where the biggest concentrations of their audiences are for a given brand, and what cost they’re willing to pay to reach them.

Marketing Daily: What are the remaining benefits of a national broadcast buy? When does it still make sense for brands, and why?

Davis: Brands with national distribution that need to build broad reach very quickly –for example, theatrical releases — can get a huge bump to help drive opening weekend sales. New product launches or rebranding efforts looking for buzz can similarly benefit from the “everyone, everywhere all at once” nature of national Super Bowl exposure.