Super Bowl vs Earned Media Reach

Super Bowl advertising costs a whopping $7m! Is there another way? Here I analyse the role of earned media to find the answer.
Black Binaural Meditation Music YouTube Thumbnail

To reach c100 million people, the cost of a 30 second Super Bowl ad slot has increased over 25% in 3 years to $7 million. Talk about media inflation. 📈

Not to mention the cost of production which on average would be, say another $2 million taking the total to $9 million. 🤯

On the other hand, if we look at similar amounts of reach in the earned media space, we can see a significant opportunity to reach similar volumes of audiences at a fraction of the cost of paid media.

Average cost per impression is roughly: $0.09

Mr Beast and his 100 million following  

On the other hand, Mr Beast now has over 100 million YouTube subscribers.

Let’s take one of his more grand productions, the re-creation of Squid Game that achieved 238 million views. The total cost of that production was $3.5 million. 🤔

Average cost per impression: $0.015


Say you decide to use Lionel Messi. A post will set you back about $1.5 million. But he has a whopping 428 million followers on Instagram. 🚀

Average cost per impression: $0.0035

Take another mega-influencer like sport mega-star, Virat Kohli (captain of the Indian cricket team). He has 236 million followers on Instagram and charges roughly $1 million per post.

Average cost per impression: $0.0042

Other revenue generating models

The other avenue in the earned media landscape is the ability to carve out new, even less risky revenue models. For instance, influencers may be happy to take a royalty rather than up-front payment on sales.

This is what KSI and Logan Paul, who endorsed the energy drink Prime in exchange for a Royalty. They have a combined audience of just under 100 million followers.

Influencers pushing their own brands

Interestingly, in any around the Super Bowl we are seeing a string of influencers who are using their platforms to push content from their own brands. This clearly is a super cost effective way.

Fenty Beauty have just created one piece of content on Tik Tok around the super bowl, and landed 7m views without spending a penny on advertising/rights. Posted on their Founder’s Rihanna page they are generated a huge buzz.


Now, of course you can argue that they serve different things and different consumers. I get that.

But the question to consider is the role that earned media should play, particularly as the range of influencers is vast (to overcome the niche audience issue) and cost effective.

Should it not play a more dominant in your marketing mix?

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