It’s the biggest football game of the year, a celebration of munchies and the Oscars of TV advertising. But, these days, viewers have more than one screen to view during the Super Bowl, and the Adobe Index Team decided to research the impact of such sporting events across devices. 

The team analyzed 1.4 billion video starts during 10 large sporting events in 2012, and compared them to days without major sporting events. The data predicts that mobile video viewing will approximately double on Super Bowl Sunday as it does for other major sporting events, on both tablets and smartphones (good news for BlackBerry's SuperBowl launch of BB10).

$3.8 Million for 30 Seconds

This kind of traffic, Adobe said, raises the question of whether marketers should supplement their Super Bowl ad spend with online video directed toward mobile devices, or, if they can’t afford the $3.8 million-per-30 seconds price tag of Super Bowl airtime, possibly use digital marketing instead.

The Adobe Team concluded that, while mobile advertising is “still complex,” the prices are “relatively low while the audience is growing and is proven to spend more.” Only 2 percent of the US$ 180 billion U.S. advertisers spent last year was directed toward mobile ads, according to eMarketer.


Those advertisers that do spring for the pricey air will see a 20 percent increase in their Web traffic, and their bump in video traffic will last about a week, the report said. After that heightened week, the traffic returns to normal levels.

Both Digital and Traditional

Adobe noted that the debate among marketers about the tradeoffs between digital and traditional advertising misses the point that “the most powerful formula comes from the combination of them.”

But the Adobe team said that the dynamics between online video, Web traffic and the big TV event are still evolving, as advertisers try to find the best combination.

Brands are also now frequently launching Super Bowl-related videos online before the big event, and Adobe said it appears to be dampening somewhat the jump in page views in the week after. The company’s research indicated that the online videos were pulling traffic earlier, rather than increasing it overall, but the combined total still represented an increase.