American vitamin retailer GNC, coming off its worst business year in 2016, during which its share price fell by over 60%, has decided to invest in Super Bowl advertising for the first time to try to bounce back. The company will probably pay over $5 million for a 30-second spot during coverage of the NFL season finale February 5 on FOX. That would be about 8% of its total advertising budget in one go.
Ivan Feinseth, an analyst at New York-based Tigress Financial Partners, told Bloomberg that it doesn’t make sense for a brand that promotes health to advertise during the Super Bowl. “The Super Bowl is probably one event that people eat the most unhealthy food possible,” he said. “I don’t think advertising for GNC during the Super Bowl would be for the right people. They are not going to be in the right frame of mind. I don’t know why a vitamin retailer would do that.”
Obviously the Super Bowl is not much different from a great many big football matches when it comes to what viewers eat (and drink). Do you agree that health brands and big sports events like this are not a good marketing fit? Or is this a great untapped space for health brands and rights owners to develop?