Last year, the Super Bowl was the most watched event in America with over 108 million viewers. However, according to surveys and studies, not all viewers were watching for the football. Recent studies have shown that about 50% of the Super Bowl audience tunes in just to watch the ads. Usually, commercial breaks are an annoyance that you have to deal with when watching a game, and are usually used for bathroom breaks or a run to the fridge. However, the Super Bowl is the one game a year where I will sit and watch every single commercial. Unsurprisingly, with all that guaranteed viewership, a company has to pay through the nose to run a Super Bowl ad. Last year, a 30-second spot cost $4 million, and a 60-second spot went for $8 million. The average Super Bowl commercial also has a production cost of about $1 million, depending on the concept.
So are they worth it? The exorbitant prices, coupled with the risk of your ad not being well received or having zero impact on your sales makes it a risky investment, and one that many marketers steer clear of. However, running a Super Bowl ad comes with the guarantee of a over 100 million people watching your ad, talking about it and increasing brand awareness. Having a Super Bowl commercial says that you are a first-rate, trustworthy brand.
Several companies have seen increased success since airing Super Bowl spots. For example, Skechers aired commercials in 2012 and 2013, and since then it has increased its sales by 26%, and nearly tripled its stock price. Audi has had a commercial in seven straight Super Bowls since 2006, and has doubled their market share in that span. Chriysler debuted on the Super Bowl stage in 2011 with a 2-minute ad, and then another 2-minute spot in 2013. Over the past three years since their first Super Bowl ad, Chrysler’s sales have risen by 54%. Granted, these companies also made many other strategic decisions that contributed to their recent success, but the Super Bowl ads have certainly been a factor. For the right company at the right time, a Super Bowl ad can certainly be a jolt for brand awareness and sales.