Sure, we could have solved the problem of hunger or bought a lot of solar panels for the money. But that’s not what Super Bowl advertising is all about.
Super Bowl ads are expensive grasps at the golden ring of marketing and it’s been that way for a long, long time.
Now new data from Kantar Media, a global leader in media intelligence, reveals that from 2007 through 2016, in-game Super Bowl advertising (that is, commercials taking place between opening kick-off and the final whistle) generated $2.59 billion of network advertising sales from more than 130 marketers.
Bottom line: it’s probably the most valuable sports franchise in the U.S.
Kantar crunched ten years worth of data and came up with some astounding facts and figures. For instance, the average price for a 30-second advertisement in the Super Bowl game has doubled during the past decade. It reached $4.8 million in 2016 and is now the most expensive commercial time on television bar none.
Time reserved for commercials has expanded, too. The 2016 contest contained 49 minutes, 35 seconds of ad messages between the opening kickoff and the final whistle and was the second most cluttered broadcast in the 50 year history of the event.
One reason? Those commercials are longer. They’re no longer short snippets. They’re mini dramas, short plays, and tales of wonder.
“Despite the high cost of air time in the Super Bowl, a significant proportion of advertisers choose to spend even more by running longer length commercials in an effort to tell a deeper story and further engage viewers,” notes Kantar Media. “Twenty five percent of brand ads in the 2016 game were 60 seconds or longer. Although this proportion exactly matched the average of the past decade, it was lower than the levels seen in 2015 (37 percent) and 2014 (40 percent).”
And if you think you could recognize an Anheuser-Busch commercial at thirty paces, no wonder: it was the leading advertiser in 2016 with expenditures of $33.6 million. In fact, the beer maker has placed in the top two of the annual rankings for at least 35 consecutive years and has invested more than $520 million in the game (not adjusted for inflation) during this period. The company also has its mitts on the official beer sponsorship for the NFL through 2022.
Fiat Chrysler and Pepsico were tied for second in 2016 with spending of $19.2 million. Fiat Chrysler has been a Top Two advertiser in each of the past five years.
There’s amazing information in this Kantar Media Superbowl data mash. You can read more here.