The Super Bowl is approaching—the golden moment for advertising. Companies shell out millions for a 30-second spot during the game with hopes that it will boost their brand’s visibility and likability. It makes sense: the Super Bowl is the most watched television event every year by a wide margin. People who don’t even like football watch because, well…you’re supposed to. A commercial reaching that many people should guarantee some kind of success, right?

Not according to a recent study by Communicus, a research firm, which suggests that 80% of Super Bowl ads do nothing to increase purchase or purchase intent, up from 60% of normal ads. They believe it’s due to the increased focus on entertainment value in Super Bowl commercials, which can be ramped up so much that the viewer forgets which brand showed which commercial.

What’s the moral of the story? Don’t despair over television absence. Even a normal ad has, essentially, a 60% failure rate. They simply don’t excel at bringing in a lot of new customers.

An easier (and much cheaper) path is to use the vast amount of free marketing offered by social media to your advantage. A growing number of businesses are using real-time marketing, or RTM. It offers a rich opportunity for customer interaction, which is more and more becoming an expectation of consumers.

We’ve seen this time and time again on Twitter, as businesses large and small play interactive games and talk to their customers, increasing the connection felt with the brand. Social media is even becoming a key part of television marketing: when was the last time you saw a commercial without a hashtag?

As social media continues to become a bigger part of life, it will become a bigger part of business, too. And as it does, trend and tech savvy businesses will gain favor quickly.