How much is a Super Bowl commercial and is it worth it?

The average cost of a Super Bowl commercial is constantly rising, but so are the rewards.
23 January 2023
Super Bowl 2021 ad revenue report
Jed Meyer

Senior Vice President, Media Domain, U.S.

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The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, with more than 90 million viewers tuning in from the US alone. But football is not all the Big Game is famous for: arguably the half-time show and the Super Bowl ads that accompany it are just as memorable – and that creates a great opportunity for marketers.

Asking how much is a Super Bowl commercial likely to cost you, and what the potential return is likely to be, can help ensure the right decisions are made when choosing where, and how, to advertise.

How much is a Super Bowl Commercial?

Each year, the number of ads shown during the Super Bowl is consistently between 80 and 100, yet total advertising time is only around 50 minutes. That’s roughly 30 seconds per ad and they can be an expensive 30 seconds too.

The average cost of a Super Bowl commercial has been steadily rising over the years. In 1967, it was a mere $37,500 (around $333,000 in today’s money). By 2002, the average cost was up to $2.2 million dollars and in 2023 it is predicted to reach $7 million, representing a 218% increase since 2002.

To put this into perspective, that means that in 2023, every second will cost $233,333.33 – around 4 times the average national salary in the US.

Are Super Bowl Ads worth it?

With these consistently rising costs, you may wonder are Super Bowl ads worth it. The short answer: yes.

While looking at the average cost of a Super Bowl commercial may be off-putting, there are many reasons to justify the expenditure:

1. Captive audience

The Super Bowl is a rare event in today’s digital world, one of the few occasions when consumers don’t skip the ads. In fact, Kantar's Sports MONITOR’s fan insight service found that the commercials were the third-most popular aspect of watching the big game, ahead of even the halftime show.

Plus, digital media allows brands to promote their ads not just during the games, but before and after as well, spreading the effectiveness of these campaigns.

2. Increased brand awareness

The Super Bowl is undoubtedly one of the biggest sporting events across the globe, but in the US, it is particularly pivotal. According to a Kantar Sports MONITOR study conducted in November 2021, 67% of fans in the US over age 18 indicated they were either extremely/very interested in watching the Super Bowl in 2022, outpacing alternatives like the 2022 Winter Olympics and the World Cup.

This consistently high viewership helps drive increased brand awareness, with 19% of consumers in the US saying that Super Bowl advertising makes them aware of advertiser brands.

Research from The University of Minnesota backs this up, with a report by Carlson School of Management Assistant Professor Linli Xu showing that Super Bowl advertisers see:

  • 16% increase in total word-of-mouth (online and offline) for around a month after the game.
  • 22% increase in total word-of-mouth in the week following the game.
  • 68% increase in online word-of-mouth in the three days following the game.

3. Strong return on investment

With increased brand awareness comes increased sales, and this is certainly true of Super Bowl ads. According to Kantar research, the 2021 Super Bowl ads delivered an average return on investment (ROI) of $4.60 per dollar spent, with many brands in the double digits.

Based on this data, many marketers come to the conclusion that an investment in the Super Bowl is justified based on the attention and impact. For more information on preparing a Super Bowl ad for 2023 or to discover the best Super Bowl ads of all time, and the lessons we can learn from them, get in touch with Kantar today. We use data insights to help your brand make the most of the advertising opportunity of the big game while the power of Kantar tools can even tell you how your Super Bowl ad for 2023 performs.

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