How Much Does A Super Bowl Ad Typically Cost?

By @TheMarkDalton

Super Bowl 51 takes place this week in Houston and if you follow my Twitter feed or in fact any of my social media you know I am a Patriots fan. I have been watching NFL since 2010 and have become hooked on the sport.

As it so happens the Pats have made it to this years Super Bowl and as a result I am going to be pounding out tweets that evening as the action unfolds. You have been warned, feel free to unfollow if it makes you that upset I won’t be offended.

The Super Bowl is not just a big event for the game, there is also big fanfare around the ads. It is the biggest opportunity of the year for advertisers with an unprecedented audience of 111.9 million in 2015. That is in fact down from 114.4 million the previous year but there is still no doubt of where the attention is on Super Bowl night.

Last year, a 30 second Super Bowl commercial slot cost advertisers a whopping $5 million. An entire marketing campaign for the Super Bowl could run as high as $30 million. Given that I have spoken about TV commercials being on the decline in the past year because people’s attention is elsewhere, why would people want to spend that much on a Super Bowl commercial?

What you need to remember is that Super Bowl commercials are different, they are in themselves an event and people tune in to watch the Super Bowl commercials without even caring about the game itself. The stakes are high for advertisers to get it right.

Hit the sweet spot and everyone could be talking about it, get it wrong and everyone could be talking about it for all the wrong reasons. With the cost taken into account, what could a $5 million budget get you in online advertising?

Digiday UK had a look into it and asked ad buyers what $5 million would get them. The results were interesting, you could get a weeks worth of Snapchat sponsored lenses. You could get over a billion Facebook impressions or you could buy 10 promoted moments meaning you could potentially reach every Twitter user 10 times over. You could also score 2.5 billion Instagram impressions.

There are a wide range of things Digiday looked at for $5 million and you can read that post here.

So for advertisers, the hard work is well underway to get their ads ready for Super Bowl Sunday and it makes sense for them to invest in this particular TV commercial because studies have shown that 98.8% of Super Bowl watchers stay tuned during the ads.

It is not just the cost that is in the way either, advertisers have to pitch creative copy, credit checks, pick appropriate quarter placement and then get ads through standards and practices before they are aired. It is a lot of hard work, but if they get it right the return could be big.

Me personally? Well this year I am interested in the game. Go Pats.

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