Although many die-hard fans watch the Super Bowl each year to root for their favorite team, just as many, if not more, turn on the game to watch the ads in-between. Bruce Clark, D'Amore-McKim School of Business Associate Professor comments on the pros and cons of securing a prime Super Bowl ad space, and if it's really worth all that money.

The average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad this year is $5 million. According to recent research conducted by the research firm, Communicus, only 20 percent of ads caused viewers to desire to make a purchase or actually lead to purchase. Clark believes lesser-known Internet brands can benefit from ad space during the game, but more well-known brands may not perform as well.

“Super Bowl ads probably work at an awareness level. It seems likely, for example, that products with a mass-market target, such as upcoming movies, appear to do well in this regard. In contrast, firms that sell to a very specialized audience probably generate lots of “wasted coverage”—that is, exposure to people who will never be customers,” said Clark.

Clark also commented on the novelty Super Bowl ads must maintain to stick out against the competition, and the new role social media plays as well.

“Social media engagement is free publicity for the firm and may increase customer engagement for a brand even if the brand is well known,” said Clark.

Read more on news@Northeastern.