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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9098
    JPY
    USD
    105.75
    GBP
    USD
    0.7631
    CAD
    USD
    1.3189
    INR
    USD
    67.209

    Rates may not be current.