February 22nd, 2008

Broadcast News Coverage of 2008 Super Bowl Ads Reaches More Than 750 Million Viewers


News media stories provide Super Bowl XLII advertisers with free publicity worth tens of millions of dollars

Ever since Apple Computer aired its groundbreaking “1984” advertisement in Super Bowl XVIII, the news media have scrutinized the ads almost as intensively as the game itself. In 2008, news coverage of the ads broadcast on the world’s most-watched sporting event reached an all-time high, with 6,846 broadcast news stories about the ads in the weeks before and after the event, according to an analysis by Cision’s broadcast monitoring group.

Cision, a leading provider of premium broadcast news monitoring and management applications, estimates that news stories on 34 advertisers’ Super Bowl XLII ad campaigns this year reached more than 750 million viewers, beyond the game-day audience for the ads themselves. Cision estimates these broadcast news placements provided tens of millions of dollars worth of free publicity to the advertisers, even before additional valuable exposure in print and online news media.

Cision has been monitoring coverage on local, national, syndicated and cable news broadcasts of Super Bowl advertising since 2004, when only 463 news stories on the ads were aired. “Super Bowl Sunday has become the advertising event of the year, with the world’s leading brands competing to unveil their more creative and exciting promotions,” said Joe Bernardo, President and CEO of Cision. “With Super Bowl ads now creating buzz and word-of-mouth on YouTube and other viral web-based media well in advance of the game, news coverage of the phenomenon is greater than ever.”

Pepsi and Budweiser garnered the lion’s share of broadcast news coverage of all the Super Bowl XLII ads, with 1,945 new stories aired on Pepsi’s ads and 1,122 on Budweiser’s from December 1, 2007, to February 10, 2008. Coca Cola, Victoria’s Secret and Diet Pepsi rounded out the top five in total broadcast news media stories on the ads. Cision also said Pepsi, Coca Cola and Victoria’s Secret led the brands benefiting the most from promotion of their ads prior to the Super Bowl, with significant broadcast news coverage of their ads even before Super Bowl Sunday.

“It’s also significant that the majority of the news coverage of the ads was local, with more than 85 percent on local stations versus national cable and broadcast networks,” said Peter Granat, Executive Vice President of Cision. “Viewers place a high degree of trust in their local news stations, so stories about the ads on local broadcasts invest those brands with a high degree of credibility.”


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