Super Bowl Ad Worth $4 Million A Hit?

With the super-sized Super Bowl on Feb 2, it’s no surprise that talk of the commercials during the program generate a popular buzz on social media.


According to an article by Forbes, the Super Bowl attracted more than 108 million viewers in 2013, making it the most-watched event in America. Was it just the game that pulled in audiences? Several studies show otherwise, proving that Super Bowl advertising has become one of the most fundamental parts of the overall marketing campaign.

Rob Siltanen, creator of several Super Bowl commercials, writes that these studies have shown that about 50 percent of Super Bowl viewers tune in just to watch the ads. Normally, television commercials are considered a nuisance to the average viewer. That isn’t the case for Super Bowl ads and the price for a spot does not come cheap.

This year, a 30-second spot will cost marketers $4 million. And if that wasn’t enough, the 60-second spot adds on another $4 million, totaling at $8 million and a tremendous hole in your wallet.  Alone, the production costs of a Super Bowl ad can average about $1 million, says Siltanen.  Depending on how original the concept, that price can be doubled or even tripled.


The question remains: Is it worth the cost? Some marketers say no because there’s no guarantee that your brand’s sales will increase, coupled with the negative chance that your ad will fail to appeal to viewers the way you intend.

Siltanen holds a different view about Super Bowl ads.

“I have long believed the Super Bowl to be one of the smartest investments a company can possibly make,” Siltanen writes. “In fact, the Super Bowl makes more sense today than ever before.”

Using a combination of PR pushes, social media efforts, theme displays and in-store materials, Siltanen has learned to create Super Bowl ad spots that are engaging and successful.  In the past, Super Bowl advertising efforts have helped to jump-start brands like Audi, Chrysler and Skechers.

From a social media point of view, an estimated 61 percent of viewers will share ad content while two-thirds will discuss the ads during the game, according to Crowdtap.

Will you tune into the Seahawks vs. Broncos matchup? Check out this infographic by Crowdtap to see more about Super Bowl social media.


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2 Responses to Super Bowl Ad Worth $4 Million A Hit?

  1. Christie Poole says:

    I think Super Bowl ads are absolutely worth the investment. The Super Bowl is the one event where people intentionally watch advertisements. While some shows may pull through stats on high viewership numbers, there’s no guarantee that those people actually watch the program live or pay attention to the commercials. With the Super Bowl, you are guaranteed these people will actually watch. Further, Super Bowl ads often go viral on social media, adding to the value of the ad slot even more.

  2. Brett Nachman says:

    Cristina, I think you approached this topic well by taking note of various important angles. I certainly see companies placing advertisements during the Super Bowl broadcast as a gutsy move that may not end up worth the risk. An advertisement’s failure, as you evidenced, can have ripple effects throughout the brand’s reputation and in terms of subsequent sales. Absolutely, the benefits of a crowd-pleasing, subversive or clever advertisement may bring a once-overlooked brand or company back into public consciousness, but corporations should weigh these decisions. The cost element of an advertisement is almost comparable to a film’s blockbuster budget, in that if it is received well, it can be a game-changer. On the other hand, poor reception equates to crippling a company’s worth. Some brands — say Coca-Cola or Budweiser — may be able to withstand the heat of a poor marketing choice, but up-and-coming companies airing Super Bowl spots may not fare as well. Most importantly, I think these companies should pitch these advertisements in advance to focus on groups of varying demographics (keeping in mind the Super Bowl draws a varied audience). Though some, if not most, already test out these commercials, ensuring that they meet a favorable response ahead of time could alleviate any potential issue.

    Furthermore, these companies should find ways to capitalize on these short spots to offset the unsettling cost. Perhaps community engagement initiatives or charitable efforts could be integrated with these spots to not only enhance the companies’ standing, but also contribute to heightened sales – even if the advertisement is more mildly entertaining than extraordinarily original. I think ads are only worth it if a company takes the measures to carry out focus groups, possesses financial security, and takes outside-of-the-box approaches to counteract any possible failures. Thanks for sparking a good discussion, Cristina.

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