The Super Bowl has come and gone for 2019.
Once again, someone wins, and someone loses.
Do you ever think about which of the companies that advertise on television win or lose?
I had read Super Bowl television commercial spots sold for $5.1 to $5.3 million dollars for a 30-second spot. Plus, there’s the cost of producing a quality commercial. Yikes!
Call me skeptical, but I don’t see a big return on investment on the horizon for this kind of expenditure. I don’t know of a single person who has changed brands because of a cute, funny, or creative television commercial.
As a business leader, you have plenty of opportunities through the course of a year to make an investment in something that helps your business grow, be more efficient, increase safety, provide better customer experiences, enrich your community, increase market share, help people in need, and/or something else that’s important.
When making financial choices you feel confident about, you must decide based on reliable data and common sense. You put too many stakeholders at risk if you don’t.
If no data is available, be prepared to take your time to evaluate the risk. Always ask great questions before you make the “super decision.” Here are a few to get you thinking:
1. What makes us think we should do this, and why do we think this way?
2. What will happen if we don’t do this, and how do we know?
3. What is another way to get the same outcome we’re looking for?
When it comes to common sense, I think of this Benjamin Franklin quote: “Common sense is something that everyone needs, few have, and none think they lack.”
Which category are you in?
Think of the most recent big decisions you made without having data available. Did you use common sense to decide? Whether you did or didn’t, going forward I encourage you to beef up your common sense. Consider these common-sense suggestions:
• Leave your ego out of your decision-making.
• Be extremely curious by asking plenty of naïve questions.
• Consider the effect on all the stakeholders in your circle.
Spending $5 million for a 30-second spot might have made good common sense for some of these Super Bowl advertisers. However, they could have realized a greater return if they had directed that investment to benefit people (e.g., veterans, homeless, disaster victims) other than television executives.