This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Can Facebook Become the Super Bowl for Advertisers?

Stocks in this article: FB AAPL P GOOG

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I first saw the story over at Bloomberg. And it's the first time since the company put social media on the map that I think Facebook (FB) might be prepared to change the game.

According to the Bloomberg report, Facebook will start offering "TV-style" 15-second commercials to advertisers for up to $2.5 million a pop later this year.

Think about it. Over one billion total users. About 800 million checking in monthly on a mobile device. Roughly half a billion daily. At first brush, you think traditional television cannot compete. That's not entirely true. But if Facebook does this and has even modest success, it could be a game changer nonetheless.

For some types of Facebook advertising, you really don't need to spend a ton of money.

As an example, I buy promoted posts and sponsored stories for TheStreet's Facebook page. At a certain point, engagement such as social sharing takes over and provides value in lieu of spending more money. Simply put, I have heard of brands spending five or six figures per promoted post/sponsored story. That makes no sense when you can achieve considerable organic growth triggered by a relatively small expenditure.

However, with a TV-style commercial, it's a different ball game. It's taking a traditional advertising concept -- the television spot -- and putting it to work on a platform with massive scale and (depending on who you ask) impressive engagement. In some respects, this is like advertising on the Super Bowl any day of the year.

Consider the numbers.

Last year, roughly 108 million Americans watched the Super Bowl. The National Football League routinely makes the claim that the game is "available to an estimated worldwide audience of 750 million to 1 billion people." However, research shows that nowhere near that number watch the game. In fact, a vast majority of viewing happens inside North America with a relatively small portion coming from abroad. As such we might be looking at something closer to 110 to 120 million viewers worldwide this past January.

From a pure numbers standpoint, an advertisement for $2.5 million on Facebook could, theoretically, get in front of more people than the $4 million companies spend on a 30-second Super Bowl spot. But "get in front of" are the keywords.

Which audience is more engaged? Some people tune into the Super Bowl just to see the commercials. That's why you drop the $4 million; you have an audience longing to see your advertising for a change. At the moment, many users view Facebook ads as an intrusion. That doesn't mean they will not work or they're not valuable. In fact, for some companies, by some measures, a Facebook ad will be just as powerful -- and maybe more so -- than a Super Bowl ad.

All of that to say, yes, Facebook has something here. It could be a game changer, however, be skeptical if the tech/financial media starts putting out "Super Bowl Killer" or "Network Television Killer" headlines in regards to the possibility of Facebook TV commercials. You know they'll do this just the way they refer to Apple's (AAPL) iTunes Radio as a Pandora (P) killer or Google's (GOOG) Chromecast dongle as an Apple TV or Roku killer. That's premature and overhyped.

Something else to keep in mind. Traditional television platforms continue to mature digitally. As these digital and mobile strategies grow and evolve, big media will command higher rates for advertising, particularly if they can sell it across a set of platforms that includes actual television sets. That's something, at the moment, Facebook cannot do.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,946.30 +141.50 0.79%
S&P 500 2,077.40 +6.75 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,779.7030 +14.3230 0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs