MMW Op-Ed: Super Bowl XLVIII Changes the Mobile Ad Space

Super Bowl XLVIII Changes the Mobile Ad SpaceThe following is a guest contributed post from Matthijs Keij, Co-founder & CEO of FlxOne.

The Big Game is history and the winner was clear: mobile advertising.

Before the Seahawks pummeled the Bronco’s last Sunday, we talked about how this year’s Super Bowl would be a mobile-driven, advertising powerhouse. WithLocals, the peer-to-peer travel experiences startup, took the plunge and decided that a mobile ad campaign would be a better bet than a Super Bowl television ad given their marketing budget. Well, the stats are in and should you need additional convincing about the importance of mobile and real time bidding (RTB), I invite you to consider the following data from the mobile Withlocals ad campaign during this year’s Super Bowl.

  • For a mobile display ad, a flat bid of $35 cost only $2.95 CPM on average*
  • Before the game, the average CPM on mobile RTB inventory was $3.48; during the game it dropped to $2.39

*Remember, in RTB multiple buyers bid for specific impressions. The highest bidder wins the auction and can then serve a display ad. However, here’s the important part, the highest bidder will only pay the second-highest price (as a second-price auction is the default model in RTB). For example, a bid price of $35 CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) does not mean that an advertiser has to actually pay $35. In many cases, the second-highest price (a.k.a. the clear price) is considerably lower.

Average CPMs for mobile ads for Super Bowl XLVIII were incredibly affordable this year:

According to AT&T’s blog, total data usage in the stadium was more than 624GB; the highest number AT&T has ever seen from a one-day sporting event. For context, 624GB is the equivalent of 1.8 million social media posts that include photos.

Verizon also won big time. According to Verizon’s News Center, the company handled more than 800% more data connections during the game than the busiest hour from last year’s Super Bowl—and used more data in MetLife stadium in one hour than was the case in any previous Super Bowl.

This data from the Seattle versus Denver faceoff fully supports the premise that mobile advertisers can enjoy extremely relevant audience targeting despite a limited budget. What are you waiting for?

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