News / Economy

Super Bowl TV Ads are Big, Big Business

Brian Allen
Super Bowl Sunday is almost here - the National Football League championship is the second most watched annual sporting event worldwide. With all eyes on the big game, advertisers are lining up to spend record amounts of money to put their ad in front of viewers.  Super Bowl commercials have become "must see TV." 

It has become an event almost as big as the game itself - it’s the only day of the year when viewers don’t hit the mute or go to the bathroom during a time-out.

Super Bowl commercials are big, big business, which comes as little surprise considering Super Bowl is traditionally the most-watched American television broadcast of the year.

“Thirty years ago there were a good number of ways to get to everyone," said Richard Fine, a managing director with Redscout. "There were big event televisions, big shows everyone watched. And now there is only one, only one thing where you get to 110 million people a year.

And a big audience brings a hefty pricetag - a 30-second ad costs, on average, $4 million this year.

“Is it worth spending $4 million for 30 seconds of advertising? I guess it depends on what you are setting out to do as a marketer,” said Ken Wheaton, a managing editor at Advertising Age. “If you have a specific message or if you are traditionally a Super Bowl advertiser, I think it does make sense. You can send a message to the average consumer, 'Buy my product, we are American-made.'  Or you are sending a message to your stockholders: 'We're healthy financially to make a marketing play this big.'"

Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and car companies traditionally spend the big bucks to air ads during the Super Bowl.

James Cooper, editorial director at Adweek, says celebrities are starting to get in on the act as well.

"For the companies that use them, they buy instant recognition for the ad," he said. "If you see Arnold Schwarzenegger in a Bud Light ad people are going to pay attention. Miley Cyrus they will pay attention, people pay attention to her as well. John Stamos most in those Oikos yogurt ads."

Wheaton says there will be plenty of star power this year too.

“This year, we have Scarlett Johansson for SodaStream. We have, I count the Muppets as celebrities for Toyota," he said. "A trio of British actors for Jaguar, Laurence Fishburne for Kia and [David] Beckham for H&M. And probably a few others. We never know who is going to pull out a surprise ad."

Fine says that all those eyeballs mean more pressure to put out a good ad.

“You’re in a competition to see whose commercial wins the most like, views, awards, whatever it might be," he said. "It’s a very competitive context, and what you’re trying to do is be one of the ones that is a big, buzzed-about commercial.

“That's why people tend to sort of be semi-safe, they use things like puppies and babies and monkeys," said AdWeek's Cooper.

Most of the Super Bowl Sunday ads are already online - which means advertisers get increased value before and after the game.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8893
JPY
USD
118.31
GBP
USD
0.6660
CAD
USD
1.2459
INR
USD
61.427

Rates may not be current.