The 30-second Super Bowl TV ad remains the undisputed king of the advertising world, but year after year, marketers continue to wonder if it's worth it, especially as platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat tout new targeting and ad formats.
Advertisers will again shell out more than $5 million for a 30-second ad during Super Bowl LI this year. Not surprisingly, that amount buys a lot in digital media.
"The value that you can get in digital is much more substantial," said Jeremy Sigel, global director of partnerships and emerging media at WPP-owned Essence.
For $5.6 million, a bit more than Fox is reportedly asking for, advertisers could buy 90 Snapchat Discover takeovers (at roughly $62,200 each) that let brands sponsor a publication's daily edition. "[That] would almost let you buy the entire Snapchat portfolio," Sigel said.
Here's a short list of six other digital ads that marketers could swap for the same price as a TV ad, according to Essence:
17 Snapchat lenses
According to Essence, a national sponsored Snapchat lens, the fun colorful filters that overlay selfies, costs roughly $329,400, meaning advertisers could create 17 of them for $5.6 million.
Sponsored lenses have steadily caught on with advertisers and also appear to be significantly cheaper than they were six months ago when some ad buyers claimed the one-day takeovers could cost $600,000.
35 homepage takeovers on 'tier-one' sites
Before the rise of social and video platforms, the homepage takeover was the crème de la crème of digital advertising.
Advertisers still buy the prominent ad placement, but with more of publisher's traffic and chatter about events coming through social media, it's likely not as big of a sell as it used to be. For $5.6 million, advertisers can buy 35 homepage takeovers of top publishers at roughly $160,000 apiece.
22 custom BuzzFeed videos
A sponsored video on BuzzFeed is worth $254,500. That means brands could buy 22 of the digital publisher's campaigns for the same price as a 30-second TV spot.
220 million full-episode player video impressions
At a cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) of about $23.30, advertisers could buy 240 million impressions' worth of ad inventory within full-episode players like Hulu or TV networks' platforms.
370 million display video impressions
For a cheaper $15.13 CPM, brands could buy more than 370 million display video impressions, per Essence's estimates.
800 million impressions from banner ads
Banner ads are notoriously the cheapest, and often the most ineffective, digital ads. However, brands that want reach could buy 800 million worth of banner ads for $5.6 million at a $7 CPM. Put another mind-boggling way: Advertisers could reach every 18- to 49-year-old in the U.S. (or 132 million people) two to six times in one day with an online ad.