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2015 - The Year When Super Bowl Went Super Mobile

Posted on January 19, 2015
By Kaavya Kasturirangan

Personally speaking, one of the only positives of the holiday season coming to an end is the countdown to Super Bowl Sunday. While the tradition continues, this year will see some critical differences. First, as per my New Year’s resolution, I will not be noshing down carb-y snacks! The other change is that while we'll be clustered around the television in my cousin's house like every other Super Bowl, this year the device we're all going to be glued to will likely be our smartphone. Therein lies the huge difference in how content is being consumed and where marketers should consider investing their advertising budgets.

Super Bowl spending always highlights the glitzy, big ad campaigns that are meant to be the trendsetters for the year to come. Media reports suggest that a 30 second television spot during the three-hour sporting bonanza is being sold for an eye-popping $4.5 million.

However, the most effective spenders are turning to mobile now in an attempt to complement the scarce and high-valued TV spots. And here’s why:

Not only are we spending more minutes each day with our phones versus the television but our television-watching behavior is also getting replaced by dual-screen parallel processing. Additionally, research at InMobi shows us that sustained game play and downloads are typically witnessed in the evenings between 6.00-8.00 PM - during the classic television watching hours. Clearly, mobile is where consumers are at.

Consistent with the growing presence of mobile phones in our lives, eMarketer predicts that mobile advertising revenues will soar 34% in 2015 over a fairly solid base of $31.5 billion. However, developer and performance advertising campaigns largely lead that growth, while brand advertisers are still largely laggards.

Awareness-based advertising can be very powerful on mobile simply because targeting and in-the-moment marketing can be so effectively conducted only on this medium. For instance, this Super Bowl season, InMobi is all set to offer targeting segments like ‘NFL Enthusiasts’, ‘Super Bowl watchers’ and ‘Sports’ packages that advertisers can choose between and buy programmatically.

Similarly, let’s not forget creative and the opportunities to use the full capabilities of smart phones to include much more than just banner, rich media and video ads. The mobile phone is a highly tactile medium that lets users engage with touch-sensitive interfaces and really take the consumer experience to the next level in terms of engagement.

For brand advertisers to blow past traditional media like television and print and commit a larger chunk of their budget to mobile advertising, they will eventually need agencies, trading desks and mobile ad networks to be able to showcase metrics and impact in an apples-to-apples comparison with the television world. Mobile ad attribution is therefore set to become even more significant in 2015. Likewise, brands need to go past "performance-style" campaigns that purely measure click-throughs and commerce-driven transactions.

In conclusion, for advertisers wanting to get in on the game with the 100 million or so viewers watching the Super Bowl, leveraging the unique value of mobile advertising may be their best shot.