A TV Commercial on the Super Bowl for only $10,000?

Although this is an unusual example for getting a commercial viewed during the Super Bowl, it’s a routine example for running a local TV commercial on most other national or regional programs that are not the Super Bowl. Here’s how Slippery Rock University, which is just north of Pittsburgh, PA., got their TV commercial viewed during the 2014 Super Bowl for only $10,000 — in the Pittsburgh area.

That last point is the most important for this story and the most relevant for anyone who wants to benefit from local TV advertising. Even though the commercial was run during the Super Bowl, and even though a number of TV viewers may have presumed it was being run nationally (like most of the Super Bowl commercials), in this case it was actually being broadcast in the Pittsburgh area only. And at the exact same time, there were completely different local TV commercials being shown in other geographical areas all over the nation.  Which is a typical example of how local TV advertising works.  What is unusual is that they got a local spot during the highest-profile TV advertising afternoon of the year — which would usually cost more than $10K.

A pertinent concept is that there are opportunities to buy local TV ad slots within national programs. And since in this article we’re discussing the Super Bowl, keep this in mind the next time you view the Super Bowl: If you watch the TV ads, most of them are very expensive big-budget commercials from large companies. However, at some point, you’ll see a local ad, and usually a few. It might be for a local car dealer, or restaurant, or dentist, or for Pittsburgh viewers in 2014, they saw a TV commercial for Slippery Rock University, while watching the Super Bowl.

In this example, the university already had a 2013 TV commercial that wasn’t currently being used. Their ad agency found and offered a last-minute, local TV slot, in the Pittsburgh area and offered it to the University at a reduced cost of $10,000, since it needed to be filled immediately. All the University had to do was agree to pay for this unusual opportunity and the ad agency plugged in their commercial to make it all happen shortly before the Super Bowl was broadcast.

However, it bears repeating for anyone unfamiliar with local TV advertising that any business can have a TV commercial broadcast on major TV programs in their local area. For businesses that cater to their local geographical areas, such as restaurants, local services and retail stores, local TV advertising can be a very cost-effective way to get the word out about their products and services.

Of course, the commercials need to be produced, as well. A critical point to this story was that the University already had a previous commercial that could be plugged in at the last minute. And the most likely reason the spot became available in the first place, was because some other buyer bowed out at the last minute, or wasn’t able to make the appropriate payment in time.

Skyworks Marketing is an advertising agency that not only produces commercials and gets them broadcast on cable, network TV and the internet, but also manages and executes TV campaigns in coordination with online marketing and social media advertising.