Apple abandons 2013 Super Bowl, risking more ridicule

Will Samsung once more take advantage of the looming Super Bowl opportunity to ridicule Apple, like it did last year launching a campaign which poked fun of the folks who’d wait in line for the iPhone? Given the fifty different lawsuits spread across four continents, it’s difficult to imagine otherwise. Samsung has already secured a spot in the big game, but Apple, unfortunately, has again passed on the opportunity to convey its message to Super Bowl’s huge audience.

Ad prices have increased every year, with advertisers paying as much as $3.5 million for a thirty-second spot during Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. But ad rates don’t concern Apple and Samsung, both big spenders when it comes to advertising. SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller revealed during the Apple v. Samsung trial that Apple in fiscal 2010 spent to the tune of $346.6 million advertising the iPhone and iPad in the United States.

That’s peanuts compared to what Samsung spends advertising its gadgets. The Galaxy maker, according to independent analyst Horace Dediu, has an annual budget of nearly $12 billion for advertising, commissions and sales promotions…

According to AdAge, brands like Pepsi, Bud Light and Samsung all secured ad slots at 2013 Super Bowl, going for an average of $3.7 million to $3.8 million.

And BusinessInsider teaches us that a $10 million ad buy on Facebook resulted in $129 million in Samsung device sales “in a period when Samsung was programming against the launch of iPhone 5”.

Just take a look, if you will, at Apple’s advertising expenses versus those of Samsung.

Marketing expenses for Samsung Electronics versus competition. Chart via Asymco.

Samsung’s ad spending clearly shows as the Galaxy ads can be seen virtually everywhere.

What a difference $12 billion a year makes, no?

But you know what’s remarkable?

Despite huge ad spending on Samsung’s part, the iPhone 5 easily surfaced as the top searched for gadget of 2012 on both Yahoo and Bing, despite not going on sale until late September.

Nevertheless, Samsung’s ad blitz is clearly working: per comScore, the Galaxy maker is the leading mobile vendor in the United States and it goes back and forth with Apple for top smartphone vendor.

Apple’s famous “1984” ad by its long-time marketing agency TBWA/Chiat/Day that announced the Macintosh is still regarded as the most-viewed television commercial of all time, even though it aired only once during Super Bowl XVIII.

The company since then largely avoided dropping ad dollars on Super Bowl, instead opting for television commercials and full-page ads in glossy magazines and newspapers. Google-owned Motorola Mobility at 2011 Super Bowl aired a scathing anti-Apple ad which paints its fans as mindless drones, as seen below.

Apple’s last Super Bowl commercial was seen in 2010, when it promoted the Verizon iPhone. Immediately the following year Samsung took advantage of Apple’s absence from the Super Bowl frenzy and launched a 90-second ad in the fourth quarter of the game to effectively mock Apple fans.

History could easily repeat itself with 2013 Super Bowl.

With that massive $1.05 verdict in the Apple v. Samsung case, component makers being added to Apple’s supply chain at Samsung’s expense and talk of Apple taking its lucrative mobile chip biz elsewhere, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out who Samsung’s target might be come February 2013.

So, did Apple make a mistake by avoiding Super Bowl in 2013 at a time when Samsung is vastly outspending club Cupertino in the advertising department?

And should the company amp up its advertising in general?