Super Bowl Advertising - Worth it or Rip off?


As it always does, this week's American Super Bowl game draws a lot of attention. With the Super Bowl comes the Media Hype around the Super Bowl half time advertisements. The cost for broadcasting a 30-second ad during the game is 4 million this year. When you first see this number, most of us think it is ridiculous and over the top. However, if you look at it closer, it isn't so bad!

1. The actual price of a 30-second Super Bowl advertisement It does seem unbelievable to price a 30-second slot for $4 million. However, the Super Bowl is projected to be broadcast to over 115 million people this year. Let's do a quick math to calculate the CPM (Cost Per Million)for the Super Bowl, which is the cost per thousand viewers.

$4 million X 1,000 / 115 million = $34.8 (per thousand viewers)

Let's round the number to $35. The average cost per thousand for a primetime 30-second ad spot is also around $35. Besides, some audiences may choose online on-demand services to watch the show later, which further enlarges the audiences. From this aspect, Super Bowl advertising isn't as extravagant as we first believed.

2. Reputation The Super Bowl has been famous for the game day advertising for a number of years. It is estimated that 25% of the viewership is there not only for the game, but also for the ad, that is to say that a minimum number of 29 million viewers will watch the ads. The advertisers in the Super Bowl game are generally big brands from a variety of industries including car manufacturers, telecoms, beverage and beer companies. The Super Bowl game is a time when these big brands try to produce quality ads to impress the audiences and the media. Consequently, Super Bowl advertising has better overall reputation than some TV stations both in the advertisers and the consumers - to the extent that some just watch the Super Bowl to watch the ads, and many of the ads are posted online later for people to view.

Now who wouldn't want their customers watching their ads online over and over again and sharing them with their friends!

3. International broadcast It is not clearly stated whether the 115 million audiences include the reach of international broadcast or not. However, the international broadcast including both TV and online is highly likely to reach a reasonable number of audiences.

So as unrealistic as it is for most of us, Super Bowl advertising isn't as extravagantly priced as we are lead to believe.  Who knows maybe one day we will be in the big leagues and can afford a $4million dollar advertising spot!

What was your favourite ad from the Super Bowl this year?