The Patriots’ Big Win and What Small Businesses Can Learn From It

111,000,000 people witnessed the Patriots’ come-from-behind victory on TV during Superbowl LI.  It was such a big a deal, that advertisers spent $166,000 per second for the privilege of inserting their commercials into the event. This price tag bars most Virginia small business owners from marketing their goods and services during the game. Even at the lower rates local TV stations charge.

No doubt, Superbowl Sunday is TV’s biggest day. Even on this day, though, fewer than 50% of people watch the game. But, on that same day, 77% of all Americans listened to the radio. This includes the 28,000,000 adults who tuned into the game.  So, even on TV’s best day, more people still listen to the radio.

On any day or during any week, more people use traditional AM/FM radio than use any other medium. According to Nielsen, 93% of adults listen to radio every week. This is significantly higher than the number of adults who watch TV. More importantly, it far surpasses the number of adults who use a PC, use a smart phone, or use a tablet…the primary devices for accessing Pandora and other streaming media services.

But here is something that also needs to be factored into the cost of advertising in the big game.  The price tag on the time, as we said before, is about $5,000,000. But the actual cost of producing a competitive TV commercial for TV’s big day is about $8,000,000.  That’s how much it cost to produce this Coke commercial.

By comparison, this award-winning radio commercial for Motel 6 ran during the Superbowl broadcast was produced for just an infinitesimal fraction of the cost:

But costs aren’t everything.  Like a kickoff during the Superbowl, it’s all about the return!  And this is where radio really carries the ball.

Research giant Nielsen has produced 20 studies that demonstrate AM/FM radio can deliver what Ad Age magazine calls an “eye-popping return on investment.”  A new study by the company released last week produced similar results.  It revealed that a radio advertising campaign conducted by an auto-aftermarket retailer generated $21.00 of incremental sales for every $1.00 invested.
Certainly, not every radio campaign can deliver these types of results.  On average, the studies Nielsen has conducted,produce a 6 time ROI. According to Ad Age magazine, these findings indicate that advertisers can expect higher returns-on investment from radio than from TV, digital, or social media.
So, here’s what every Virginia small business owner should take away from the Patriots’ victory in Superbowl 2017…although Tom Brady is one of the oldest players in the game, he’s also the best in the game.  Similarly, radio is 95 years old and still delivers winning results for advertisers.