The Cost to Run a Super Bowl Ad

Last month, the Super Bowl ads aired once again.  Every year, half of all Super Bowl watchers tune in solely to watch the ads that inspire, confuse, and terrify (some even do all three, like Puppy, Monkey Baby.  What was that?)  Crowd favorites this year were the Hyundai First Date commercial, the Heinz Weiner Stampede, and Doritos Ultrasound.

But how much does it cost to run a Super Bowl ad?  

Leslie Moonves, the CBS network president, said that a 30-second Super Bowl ad sold for about $5 million!  That is an 11% increase from last year (2015 ads sold for $4.5 million).  In the past 10 years, the price of a Super Bowl ad has increased 76%!  Can you believe that in 2007, it only cost $2.38 to run an ad during the Super Bowl?  Even crazier is to think that at the first Super Bowl, in 1967, an ad cost $37,500 (even with inflation, that only equates to about $262,500).

It is important to note that the cost discussed here is just to feature the ad, it has nothing to do with the cost of producing it.  The average production budget of a Super Bowl ad is $1 million (no wonder so many ads were reused from other marketing avenues like YouTube).

But is all that money worth it?

Super Bowl ads are so expensive because advertisers are willing to pay that much to be featured for 30 seconds during the big game.  But is it worth it?  The surprising thing is that, yes, a Super Bowl ad is worth every penny. It is estimated that 114.4 million people watched the Super Bowl (the estimate of 114.4 million does not account for large parties, so the number could be even higher).  When you do the math, that is only about 4.37 cents per person, and it is guaranteed that these people will be watching your ad.  Super Bowl ads are replayed over and over, featured on prime time television shows such as Good Morning America, and The Tonight Show.  Sales have been proven to increase anywhere from 20-50% during years that companies feature their articles on the Super Bowl.  While this is not entirely credited to their Super Bowl ad, it is hard to ignore the statistics.  Super Bowl spots sell out 2-3 months (if not more!) in advance, as the spots are so popular.  If you have to capital, it would almost be silly not to run a Super Bowl ad.


Which ad was your favorite this year?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Complete the equation below to submit your comment * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.