Ever wonder why Super Bowl commercials are so costly? Well, it’s all about exposure and location. The number of television viewers on Super Bowl Sunday is so high it amounts to years worth of regular advertising exposure. However, that creates a supply and demand situation, which enables the television networks to jack up the price. This price jacking occurs because everyone wants those few short spots available in an attempt to garner all the attention they can get for their brand.
The attention gained during Super Bowl has expanded over the years, making that time even more valuable. The commercials are later shown on television shows, the news, and the internet for months, sometimes even years after the original airing. For even more exposure, there is the Super Bowl Ad Meter survey held each year, to judge which commercials were the best. All this extra exposure leads to overwhelming advertising results, for the companies that can afford the high price tag.
Many companies such as Master Lock have invested as much as half or more of their yearly advertising budgets to Super Bowl spots. Other corporations take advantage of the time they pay so dearly for by creating commercials they know will carry over after the game ends. In 2006, Doritos held a Crash the Super Bowl contest, asking viewers to submit commercials they created for a chance at having the commercial appear on future Super Bowl ad spots. The event was so successful that in 2009 Doritos added a prize of one million dollars if the commercial won first place in the Super Bowl Ad Meter survey. In 2010, they added more prizes for making second and third places on the Super Bowl Ad Meter survey.
Today, Super Bowl commercials have become so popular it is common for viewers to watch the game only to see the commercials. This fact has inspired companies to create parodies of previously aired commercials, along with commercial series that carry over to following years. Companies like Budweiser and Coca-Cola, have used these types of commercials to build anticipation of their next Super Bowl ad campaign. Large corporations like these are willing to fork out a lot of money because they know viewers will tune in each year to see what they come up with next.
All of this exposure has pushed the rising costs of Super Bowl commercials to skyrocket over the years, leaving many advertisers feeling the prices are out of control. From the beginning of Super Bowl Commercials, the prices were a bit steep. In 1967, a 30 second spot cost $42,000.00. The following list shows some examples of how the prices have continued to increase to today’s astounding rates.
1973 – $88,000.00
1983 – $400,000.00
1993 – $850,000.00
2003 – $2,100,000.00
2013 – $3,800,000.00
2016 – $5,000,000.00
With stars like Lady Gaga appearing on the halftime show in Super Bowl 51, the number of viewers will increase, driving prices up more. Some sources report the cost of a Super Bowl commercial will rise to over $5,500,000.00 in 2017. Executives of large corporations are now concerned whether they can recoup what it costs them to advertise during Super Bowl, with many opting to not buy ad time at all. Many companies are now looking to use other advertising methods and sources that are much cheaper, such as advertising during the pregame shows, as well as advertising on local networks. There is also the advantage of purchasing cheaper advertising on the Canadian networks, due to Canada’s regulations that block American Super Bowl ads to protect Canadian advertisers and broadcasters.