How banks and credit unions make pricey Super Bowl advertising pay off

The Super Bowl is a cultural touchstone that attracts millions of viewers, and there are ways to leverage the game for brand awareness without the high cost of a national ad.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, home of Superbowl LIII in 2019.

Super Bowl ads are among the most watched and most memorable television spots every year. When Fox airs Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, February 12, it is expected to attract an estimated 100 million viewers, with millions of them tuning in just for the commercials.

They can expect to see at least one advertiser from the financial services industry — E-Trade will return with its famed chubby-cheeked baby.

Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have made Super Bowl appearances in years past, but generally speaking banks are unlikely to turn up in national ads.

“Historically, we don’t see banks in national Super Bowl spots,” says Josh Mabus, the president and chief creative officer of the Mabus Agency, a marketing firm in Tupelo, Miss., that specializes in the banking industry. “The macro view of banking is a parity product. Nuances set one bank apart from another, and the Super Bowl is not an advertising venue known for nuance.”


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